Known as ‘the elder statesman of New Zealand classical music’, Douglas Lilburn was instrumental in establishing a genuinely vernacular voice. All the works on this recording portray New Zealand’s culture through an idiom instantly recognisable to listeners familiar with the music of Sibelius and Vaughan Williams (one of Lilburn’s teachers). Amongst the best known are Aotearoa (Land of the long white cloud), A Song of Islands, a tone poem which finds its parallel in New Zealand regional paintings, and Lilburn’s first major orchestral work, the Drysdale Overture, a beautifully evocative depiction of the isolated hill country farm where the composer spent his childhood. Lilburn’s Three Symphonies can be heard on Naxos 8.555862.
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