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Sat, Apr 06


Nowra School of Arts

Romantic Masters

Roland Peelman (Piano) Andrew Goodwin (Tenor)

Romantic Masters
Romantic Masters

Time & Location

Apr 06, 2024, 2:00 PM

Nowra School of Arts, Berry St, Nowra NSW 2541, Australia

About The Event


Robert Schumann

Arabesque Op 18

Dichterliebe Op 48   View Lyrics   View Background Information


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Five Songs    View lyrics

Do not believe it, my friend Op 6 No 1 

Why? Op6No5

Not but the lonely heart Op 6 No 4 

Amid the din of the ball Op 38 No 3 

Again I am alone Op 73 No 6

Alexander Skriabin

Etude Op 2, No 1

Sergei Vasilyevitch Rachmaninoff    View lyrics

Lilacs Op 21 No 5

Yesterday we met Op 26 No 13

Do you remember? Thenightissad Op26No12

Do not believe it, my friend Op 14 No 7



It is fair to say that some of the most captivating and memorable melodies in the Russian repertoire were written by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. We hear them in the ballet, and we recognise them in the piano concertos, but do we know them from their songs? Probably not. In 1869, Tchaikovsky was working on his Overture Romeo and Juliet – again, what a melody! - but irritated by the ongoing delay in the staging of his opera Undina, he decided to kill some time and earn some money by writing a few songs. By mid-December, the Six Romances op 6 were completed and prepared for print. The first one of these is set to a poem by Tolstoy, and right from this beginning, the composer shows his colours by turning the poem into a grief-laden expression of rue and regret. Fifty years later, Rachmaninoff would set the same poem and give it an impetuous, even victorious slant instead: love conquers all!

This difference in approach characterises both composers’ art song output. Tchaikovsky, across his 103 songs, excels in the ruminations on love, unrequited love, betrayal and turbulence, the main themes of early romantic poetry, whether it be Goethe, Heine or Pushkin. It is remarkable that his songs were long dismissed in Russia as “too western” or “too much like ‘lieder’”. Yet their tone, style and demeanour couldn’t be more Russian, as he himself professed often enough. Rachmaninoff on the other hand, wholeheartedly embodying the aesthetics of late tzarist Russia, physically took its style to the West, first Europe then America, where it would evolve into an international romantic style, perpetuated and celebrated on the big screen. Yet his days in pre-revolutionary Russia were defined by opera assignments, punctuated by encounters with the ancient Slavonic traditions of chant as he heard it in the Andronikov monastery, and topped off by the merry bands of gypsy singers who would perform in the St Petersburg restaurants where the composer choose to have dinner. Whereas we all know about Rachmaninoff’s prodigious pianism, we should also admit he had an unusually broad sense of the expressive range of the human voice. You might as well believe his 83 art songs bear witness to that.  Source: Roland Peelman

About the Performers

Born in Belgium, Roland Peelman has been active in Australia over 30 years as a conductor, pianist, artistic director and mentor to composers, singers and musicians alike. For his commitment to the creative arts in Australia, he has received numerous accolades, including the NSW Award for “the most outstanding contribution to Australian Music by an individual’ in 2005. In 2006 he was named ‘musician of the year’ by the Sydney Morning Herald and he has since featured regularly as one of the most influential people in the Australian arts scene. Over a period of 25  years, he transformed The Song Company into one of Australia’s most outstanding and innovative ensembles. In addition, he instigated and directed an impressive list of new work, orchestral, vocal and operatic.

Roland worked for 7 years with Opera Australia (1984-91) before becoming The Song Company’s Artistic Director (1990-2015) as well as Music Director of Sydney Metropolitan Opera (1989-94) and the Hunter Orchestra in Newcastle (1990-97). Roland is currently the artistic director of Canberra International Music Festival. He is a regular collaborator with Ensemble Offspring, and various other projects in Australia and overseas, both as conductor and pianist.

Born in Sydney, Andrew Goodwin left Australia for Russia in 1999 and studied in the Saint Petersburg Conservatory graduating in June 2005. In 2006, he began a postgraduate diploma in vocal studies at the Royal Academy of Music. Goodwin's operatic debut was as Fenton in Verdi's Falstaff for Opera Australia in January 2006. Later that year he performed Lensky in a new Production of Eugene Onegin by Dmitry Chernyakov at the Bolshoi Theatre, Russia, a rare achievement by a foreigner. He is also now a regular soloist with the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra and a cultural ambassador for Australia on the world stage. Since 2006, Goodwin has been a soloist with the Bolshoi Theatre (Moscow, Russia). He has also appeared at The Sydney Opera house, The Arts Centre, Melbourne, Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Centre, National Concert Hall Taipei, Teatro Real, Madrid, Gran Teatre de Liceu, Barcelona, La Scala, Milan, Philharmonic Hall, St. Peterburg, Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory.

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