News & views
LUKE Slattery’s engaging and informative cover story about the Australian World Orchestra and maestro Zubin Mehta (‘‘Music without borders’’, July 13-14) made me wonder if my long-held idea for a world anthem could become a fact? An Australian initiative and, from a young nation, a possible major contribution to our ever-narrowing globe; an anthem that might help foster understanding, combat racism and prejudice, and make us all feel part of one world. Music and words for our times and, with the worldwide communications explosion, an anthem that could make a contribution to peace. Stan Marks Caulfield, Victoria
PETER Craven (‘‘The word of the Bard’’, July 13-14) has set himself a tough job convincing readers that Daniel Swift’s book, Shakespeare’s Common Prayers: The Book of Common Prayer and the
Elizabethan Age, published by Oxford University Press, is one for the general reader. Leaving aside the controversial issue of whether the Bard ever wrote anything, the topic seems one for a minority of academics. Craven’s somewhat esoteric reviewing style (long sentences and obscure, erudite references) does not help. Ken Moore Glamorgan Vale, Queensland JUST who is this Susan Chenery (‘‘Small miracles’’, July 6-7) who dares pass off such graceful and sublime lyric as mere reporting? Just who indeed? IN McDonald Wangi Wangi, NSW RUPERT Christiansen’s excellent article on Benjamin Britten (‘‘The last laugh’’, July 6-7) filled me with nostalgia and anticipation. Nostalgia for 1967 and encountering Britten’s music for the first time at London’s Sadler’s Wells, then a bastion of English opera, witnessing a soaring Peter Pears singing Peter Grimes. And, two months later, listening to Duke Ellington’s just-written music for The
Jaywalker, on the steps of Coventry Cathedral, the bomb-blasted, resurrected phoenix that inspired Britten to compose his War Requiem.
As for anticipation, may I add to your list of centennial Britten performances? On August 24, the Queensland Youth Symphony will present the War Requiem in the Concert Hall of Brisbane’s Queensland Performing Arts Centre. Andre Rieu’s frontline soprano, Mirusia, will be a soloist in her home town, singing with sensational new tenor Kang Wang, established baritone Shaun Brown and the Queensland Festival Chorus. Conductor John Curro will hold it all together as brilliantly as he has done in the 47 years since he founded the Queensland Youth Orchestras. Colin Myers Chapel Hill, Queensland