John Antill's Symphony on a City (1959) and its place within the Australian symphonic repertory of the 1950s

Paper


McNeill, Rhoderick. 2004. "John Antill's Symphony on a City (1959) and its place within the Australian symphonic repertory of the 1950s." Symposium of the International Musicological Society (SIMS 2004). Melbourne, Australia 12 - 17 Jul 2004 Melbourne, Australia.
Paper/Presentation Title

John Antill's Symphony on a City (1959) and its place within the Australian symphonic repertory of the 1950s

Presentation TypePaper
Authors
AuthorMcNeill, Rhoderick
Journal or Proceedings TitleSymposium of the International Musicological Society (SIMS 2004)
Number of Pages17
Year2004
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
Conference/EventSymposium of the International Musicological Society (SIMS 2004)
Event Details
Symposium of the International Musicological Society (SIMS 2004)
Event Date
12 to end of 17 Jul 2004
Event Location
Melbourne, Australia
Abstract

John Antill is often perceived as being a 'one work' composer owing to the prominence and success of Corroboree. The remainder of his large output is largely neglected. Symphony on a City, commissioned by and dedicated to the City of Newcastle in 1959, is described by James Murdoch (1972) as a major work that has been performed only once. Roger Covell (1967) wrote that the symphony 'should be heard again, because in it Antill does find, even if only momentarily, other ways of representing energy at high voltage'. Perhaps this is the work that could provide a counter-balance to the predominance of Corroboree in Antill's work.
This paper describes the formal and stylistic aspects of the symphony, relates it to Corroboree and Antill's overall orchestral output and then places the work against the backdrop of Australian symphonies of the 1950s and the wider international context. The symphony emerges as one of the more important Australian symphonic works of its period and worthy of preservation and revival.

KeywordsJohn Antill; symphony; Australia; Newcastle; 1959; corroboree
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020360302. Music composition and improvisation
430302. Australian history
360306. Musicology and ethnomusicology
Public Notes

© Musicological Society of Australia

Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Arts
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