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MOZART OR GJEILO? OLD OR NEW? CLASSICAL OR MODERN?

It’s a very human tendency to compartmentalise things. And for much human activity, that’s a very necessary, practical practice. But when it comes to music – especially its enjoyment and appreciation, it can have a limiting effect, which can diminish both of those things for us. It’s very easy to put ‘classical music’ in one box, ‘pop music’ in another, ‘folk music’ in yet another’ and so on ad infinitum. And we can all recognise that some of those headings help to identify some music better than others. But with such categorisation we run the risk of missing out on a lot of wonderful music, simply because we limit ourselves, based on our pre-conceptions about certain ‘kinds’ of music.



You might say, ‘I only like country music’, or ‘classical music is too old-fashioned for me’, or ‘I could never get into opera’. And all those opinions, and countless others, are perfectly valid, based on whatever your knowledge and experience are at a given point in time. But consider this – Music is... music. Pure and simple. Every kind of music has much of worth, value, beauty. If it touches your emotions in some way; if it lifts you up; if it makes you smile and feel good – then for you, it’s good music.


What Oriana is currently preparing for you is a concert of music from two different periods in history. One from the eighteenth century, and one from our own time.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is universally recognised as a genius. But you don’t have to know that to appreciate his music. The Vesperae Solennes de confessore is generally accepted to be ‘classical’ music. But it’s also European music, choral music, sacred music, verging on baroque music. And yet, before any of those labels, it is simply music. And it’s lovely music. It’s fun to sing, and it’s fun to listen to.


The music of Ola Gjeilo is more ‘modern’ sounding, perhaps. It’s also choral music; it has a touch of the ‘classical’ about it; it has the feel of Scandinavia about it, not surprisingly because Gjeilo was born in Norway; some of it is sacred music, some of it sounds a little like ‘folk’ music; nearly all of it is very moving. But again, before any of the labels, it’s simply music. It’s beautiful music. It’s a delight to sing, and it’s every bit as much a delight to listen to.


So, to return to the original questions – Mozart or Gjeilo? Old or new? Classical or modern?

Does one have to choose? Absolutely not. Good music, enjoyable music, beautiful music is not bound by categories or genres. It’s down to whatever touches your soul and your heart. And I can promise you this. The members of Oriana Choir have loved preparing this music – the Mozart and the Gjeilo, the old and the new, the ‘classical’ and the ‘modern’, for your listening pleasure. We can’t wait to perform all of it for you. You will be delighted.


Ian Rix

30 March 2023

For booking details and information on dates and venues, please go to our website, www.oriana.org.au.

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