The Enchanted Loom: Orchestral Works by Carl Vine

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis

The Enchanted Loom: Orchestral Works by Carl Vine
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The Enchanted Loom: Orchestral Works by Carl Vine

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis

Carl Vine AO is one of Australia’s best known and most frequently performed composers, with an impressive orchestral catalogue featuring eight symphonies and 13 concertos.

This album presents the world premiere recording of his most recent symphony, The Enchanted Loom: an exploration in music of the intricate patterns of the human brain as it weaves together from raw sensory data our understanding of the outside world.

Vine’s music takes us through five phases: the brain emerging into order out of sleep; the complex interactions that shape our social fabric; the sources of our creativity; the mystery of euphoria; and our astounding ability to contemplate infinity.

Performed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra with conductor Sir Andrew Davis and recorded live at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall in 2018, this is one album too sublime to skip.

Review

One day, early on in my musical studies, I was handed a work by a contemporary Australian composer. The music looked black on the page and terrified teenage me, having never heard of this person. But then I saw the work performed live, fell in love with it and everything else that has ever been written by Carl Vine.

This album is the premiere recording of Vine’s latest symphony, titled The Enchanted Loom. For those who are counting, this is his Symphony No. 8, but it is so much more besides. It’s described as ‘a 25-minute exploration in music of the intricate patterns of the human brain as it weaves together from raw sensory data our understanding of the outside world’. The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) frequently collaborate with Vine, and this work was commissioned when he was their Resident Composer in 2018.

Also included on the album are Vine’s bright MicroSymphony (Symphony No. 1), along with his Concerto for Orchestra and a fanfare simply titled ‘V’, in reference to the five minutes it takes to perform. These are all live recordings from the MSO in their home at Hamer Hall, and you can feel the comfort in the way they navigate the rhythmic patterns, then fuse and unravel the harmonic ideas. The year 2018 feels like a long time ago, but this album has been worth the wait.


Kate Rockstrom is a friend of Readings.

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