Pianist Marcela Fiorillo.
Marcela Fiorillo, Voices Of The Land; Larry Sitsky Recital Room, ANU School of Music, Friday, March 14.
Argentinian pianist Marcela Fiorillo's concert, Voices of the Land, presented a program inspired by the reflections on Australian landscape and Argentinian culture by the composers Peter Sculthorpe, Juan Carlos Zorzi, Ross Edwards, Alberto Ginastera and by Fiorillo herself. There was a full house in the Sitsky Recital Room to hear the concert, the centrepiece of the Bungendore Weereewa Festival. Established in 1999, the Festival of Lake George celebrates the magnificent ancient landscape in arts and environmental science activities and events.
Fiorillo's approach to her performance is founded on deep personal spirituality, and a curiosity to explore new environments in which she finds herself as a travelling professional musician. In her commentary throughout the concert, she explained her affection for Sculthorpe and Edwards as composers who engage with the spiritual dimension of their re-imagined landscapes. In her interpretation of Sculthorpe's Callabonna and Mountains, and her performance of Edwards' Etymalong, Fiorillo demonstrated that despite her slight build, she is technically capable of mastering the demanding physicality of these scores, which is necessary to unlock the musical meaning.
Juan Carlos Zorzi's Orgiastic Dance was a perfect contrasting piece between works by Sculthorpe and Edwards. In this vibrant, whirling composition, Fiorillo summoned the spirits of Latin America and led the audience into alleyways and dance halls with an evocative performance of the wild tango rhythms.
In Three Pieces for Piano by Alberto Ginastera, Fiorillo provided a deeper insight into the Argentinian aesthetic. Like Sculthorpe, Ginastera favours dissonance to provide detail about the landscape he recreates in music. Fiorillo interpreted the music to describe the Vineyard region in Cuyana, the alpine folk performance elements of Nortena and the ferociously energetic dance of Criolla.
The most important event of the evening was the premiere of Fiorillo's commissioned Suite Weereewa, Op.3, in which the composer captured in four movements, four dimensions of Weereewa, (Lake George): ''The Beginning of Time''; ''Water Mirrors''; ''Abyss of Shadows''; and ''Golden Wings''. Each movement was introduced by a text in the Ngunnawal language.
In the work, Fiorillo employed dissonance and blended opposing tonalities to contrast with lyrical, melodic interludes. In this way she brought to life the mysterious landscape that has reinforced the connection with the land for indigenous occupants and intrigued European settlers. In her respectful collaboration and her considered approach to the environmental values underpinning the commission, Fiorillo has created a work that will live on.