Australia Ensemble UNSW 2023 Subscription Concert: Summer Music

CS233589 Australia Ensemble 2023 - Programs - 1080x1920px4
Saturday August 12, 7.30pm to 9.30pm
Sir John Clancy Auditorium

The ease of a summer holiday is reflected Dvořák’s Piano Quartet, while Barber’s wind quintet suggests a tour through different landscapes on a sunny day. This out-door mood is shared by the ever-genial music of Jean Françaix, and the Parisian-accented work of Dutch composer Leo Smit. 

Samuel BARBER | Summer Music Op.31 (1956) 

Jean FRANÇAIX | Trio (1990) 

Leo SMIT | Sextet (1933) 

Antonin DVOŘÁK | Piano Quartet no.2 Op.87 in E flat (1889) 

David Griffiths, clarinetand Ian Munro, piano 

with Emeritus artist Geoffrey Collins, flute; and guest artists Elizabeth Layton, violin; Wenhong Luo, viola; Teije Hylkema, cello; Huw Jones, oboe; Robert Johnson, horn; and Andrew Barnes, bassoon

Like many composers, Dvořák used his summer holidays to write new works, and in August 1889 found that ‘the melodies just surged upon me.’ The resulting piano quartet is rich and spontaneous, full of cascading piano writing, vibrant dance music, and melodies with a Bohemian musical accent. 

Jean Françaix once quipped that his music that could be ‘called Français - with and X or an S, …jolly most of the time - even comical.’ His 1992 Trio is full of affectionate tilts at jazz and tango and features characteristically free-flowing melodies. Samuel Barber’s beloved Summer Music begins in luxurious indolence but becomes more ebullient in music that recalls Françaix and other Paris-based neo-classical composers including Stravinsky. One such was the Dutch composer Leo Smit, who lived and worked in Paris in the 1920s and was very much at home in the bright airy sound world of the time. Murdered by the Nazis, his music is only now being rediscovered. 


Single Ticket Prices Adult $56/ Senior $43/ Concession $34 (plus booking fees)


To subscribe to our season, please contact the box office (02) 9385 4874 or email