Before and After Corroboree: The Music of John Antill

by Dr David Symons
rrp $196.36

Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Ltd

Publication Date: January 28, 2016

ISBN: 9781472435385

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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John Antill (1904-1986) was one of the foremost composers of Australia’s ‘post-colonial period’. Although a relatively prolific and much esteemed composer in Australia, Antill’s wider reputation is sustained chiefly by his famous ballet Corroboree - a work which was perceived to bring an authentic Australian musical style before both a national and international audience for the first time. Through Sir Eugene Goossens’s championship, the work was heard by enthusiastic audiences in Australia, Britain, Europe and the USA, and was, for many years, the best-known work of any Australian-born and resident composer. Indeed it has remained, for both Australian and overseas audiences, an Australian musical ‘icon’. David Symons traces Antill’s development as a composer from his early, pre-Corroboree works, which display a late Romantic to post-impressionist style, through an analysis of the virile, dissonant, ‘primitivist’ idiom of his magnum opus, to an examination of his later output of theatrical, orchestral and vocal/choral works. The book provides comprehensive and valuable insight into Antill’s musical output, at the same time focussing on more detailed analyses of his major works which have reached public performances and/or recordings. In this way the book not only presents a developmental picture of Antill’s works, but also demonstrates why they have made him one of Australia’s most prominent musical creators of the post-colonial period.