Two Australian symphonies in one movement: Horace Perkins's Elegiac symphony and Felix Gethen's symphony in E flat

Article


McNeill, Rhoderick J.. 2013. "Two Australian symphonies in one movement: Horace Perkins's Elegiac symphony and Felix Gethen's symphony in E flat." Context: Journal of Music Research.
Article Title

Two Australian symphonies in one movement: Horace Perkins's Elegiac symphony and Felix Gethen's symphony in E flat

ERA Journal ID35748
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorMcNeill, Rhoderick J.
Journal TitleContext: Journal of Music Research
Number of Pages12
Year2013
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
ISSN1038-4006
Web Address (URL)http://search.informit.com.au/fullText;dn=014873241479775;res=IELHSS
Abstract

This article explores two Australian symphonies in one movement that date from the 1950s. The Elegiac Symphony of Horace Perkins (1903-1987) was a response to the composer's first hand experience as a combatant in the Battle of Buna in December 1942. The work is cast in one long movement of about 37 minutes duration and is linked programmatically with the events of the battle and its aftermath. The Symphony in E flat by Felix Gethen is a shorter work that is not programatic. Nevertheless, like the Perkins work, it includes prominent references to traditional tunes. Both composers, one in South Australia, the other in Tasmania, were Directors of Music for the ABC in their respective states and were important musicians during the 1950s. Both are now undeservedly forgotten and neglected and these works have not been heard since the late 1950s.

Keywordssymphony; Australian orchestras; composers
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020360302. Music composition and improvisation
430302. Australian history
360306. Musicology and ethnomusicology
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Arts and Communication
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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