Joyful, Joyful for mixed voices (SATB) a cappella was commissioned by Sydney Philharmonia Choirs for performance upon the occasion of their 100th anniversary.
The Choirs’ centenary year also happens to be the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, so I couldn’t resist affording my work a “Beethoven connection”, albeit an oblique one, in the form of my chosen text (“Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee”) which was inspired by Beethoven’s setting of “Ode to Joy” and penned by the American poet, Henry van Dyke.
Comprising one continuous movement (Vivo, crotchet = c. 176), my setting begins with fanfare-like calls and responses between high and low voices. A quieter passage ensues with sopranos and altos scored in close harmony against a moto perpetuo accompaniment of rhythmically intermingling tenor and bass voices. Thereafter, a natural crescendo is effected, leading to more fanfare-like flourishes and a concluding climax.
I extend my thanks to Sydney Philharmonia Choirs for commissioning my new setting, and I wish them every success in their centenary year and beyond.– M.O.
World Premiere Performance
SATURDAY 13 MARCH, 2021 (2PM + 5PM AEST)
Commissioned as part of Sydney Philharmonia’s “100 minutes of new Australian music centenary project” in 2020.
Performers: VOX, conducted by Elizabeth Scott.
Venue: St Andrew’s Cathedral, Cnr of George and, Bathurst St, Sydney NSW 2000.
Program: Works by Deborah Cheetham & Matthew Doyle, Eriks Ešenvalds, Arvo Pärt, Aija Draguns, Peteris Vasks and Matthew Orlovich.
URL / Tickets: Sydney Philharmonia Choirs
(14 March, 2021)
“Orlovich’s work [Joyful, Joyful] provided a resounding send-off for the concert, with its fanfare-like optimism.” – Fraser Beath McEwing
(15 March, 2021)
“Joyful, Joyful by another Sydney composer Matthew Orlovich closed the program with the program’s most animated textures, exchanging chordal phrases antiphonally between upper and lower voices and ending on a chord of satisfying density”. – Peter McCallum
(15 March, 2021)
“The healing process, that makes the program a journey, is climaxed by a new commissioned work by Matthew Orlovich – Joyful, Joyful. If the audience wanted to break the fast of meditation and prayer that the program might have seemed then this was the work for them. Playful and exuberant the piece bounced in prancing acapella that roused the audience into fulsome applause, for one piece and for the ingenuity of the program as a whole.” – Geoffrey Sykes