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Bach in Australia: Studies in Reception and Performance

Edited by Denis Collins, Kerry Murphy and Samantha Owens, this is the first book dedicated to a study of the reception of a major European composer in Australia, comprising 11 essays.

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This book is the first to be dedicated to a study of the reception of a European composer in Australia. Each of the eleven essays explores how J.S. Bach’s music has enriched Australian cultural life, from private performances in the early nineteenth century to historically informed realisations in recent years. The authors outline the challenges of mounting and sustaining this repertoire in the face of underdeveloped musical infrastructure and limited resources, and how these challenges have been overcome with determination and insight. Championed by imaginative individuals such as Ernest Wood and Leonard Fullard in Melbourne, E.H. Davies in Adelaide and W. Arundel Orchard in Sydney, Bach’s music has been a vehicle for the realisation of Australians' cultural aspirations and a means of maintaining connections with traditions that continue to be cherished today.


Foreword by Christoph Wolff xii

Acknowledgements xiii

Introduction: Denis Collins, Kerry Murphy, Samantha Owens 1

Part I

Chapter One: “Nobody rose or joined in these hymns”: Premiere Australian performances of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (1875–76) Janice B. Stockigt 11

Chapter Two: A tale of two Passions: The 1897 Melbourne cathedral performance of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion Andrew Frampton 29

Chapter Three: “The finest and grandest work ever created by human genius”: The first performance of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in colonial Sydney Alan Maddox 51

Chapter Four: The performance history of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in South Australia Julja Szuster 71

Part II

Chapter Five: The key to timelessness: Some reflections on the Australian reception of the B minor Mass Peter Tregear 89

Chapter Six: “A gothic cathedral in music”: The performance and reception of Bach’s Mass in B minor in 1920s Australia Samantha Owens 101

Chapter Seven: “A light shining in the darkness”: Leonard Fullard’s Melbourne Bach Festival Niki Ebacioni 117

Chapter Eight: Historically informed Bach performance in Canberra: Problems and progress Peter Campbell 137

Chapter Nine: Bach in Tasmania: Overcoming the problems of a small population and a lack of musical resources Ian Burk 155

Chapter Ten: Bach cantata reception in Melbourne: Setting the scene for the Cantata Program of St Johns Southgate Lutheran Church Graham Lieschke 171


Chapter Eleven:Approaches to Bach in Australian literature Heinz L. Kretzenbacher 201


Appendix 1: First performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Mass in B minor in Australian states and territories 218

Appendix 2: Bach cantata presentations with orchestral accompaniments led by Leonard Fullard 1948–56,

with contemporary comments 222

Appendix 3: Bach cantata presentations with organ accompaniment only led by Leonard Fullard, 1948–56 228

Appendix 4: Repertoire performed in the St Johns Southgate Bach Cantata Program, 1997–2017 229

Appendix 5: Bach cantata “series” in Melbourne and elsewhere in Australia 231

Notes on the authors 235

Bibliography 239

Index of Bach's works 254

General Index 256


December 2018 | xiii, 266 p., ill., mus ex. | rrp $55 | ISBN: 978 0 7340 3790 9 (paperback)

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