Past event: Testament

Charles Ives Three Places in New England
Brett Dean Testament

Australian National Academy of Music Orchestra
Nicholas Collon conductor

The UK’s most dynamic orchestra is joined by Australia’s finest young musicians for a side-by-side performance under the inspirational musical direction of conductor Nicholas Collon, marking the climax of an intensive week-long collaboration.

“Ah, how could I possibly admit an infirmity in the one sense which should have been more perfect in me than in others, a sense which I once possessed in highest perfection…” In October 1802, amidst growing despair about the loss of his hearing, Beethoven wrote an early will – a document which has become known as the ‘Heiligenstadt Testament’. Far from becoming more introspective and reclusive, his compositions after this point suddenly became more daring, leaving behind the rules of his teachers and striking out in a wholly new direction – nowhere more clearly than in the monumental ‘Eroica’ symphony. The life and music of Beethoven – and particularly the Heiligenstadt Testament – were the inspiration for Brett Dean’s Testament, a work of ambivalence and inner anguish described by Dean as ‘suspended somewhere between languor and resolve’.  Charles Ives’ haunting and evocative Three Places in New England completes the programme, featuring the Australian premiere of a newly commissioned film by film-maker and photographer Jon Frank.

Jon Frank’s film is a co-commission by Melbourne Festival and Aurora Orchestra with support from the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.