‘You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.’ – MUSTAFA KEMAL ATATÜRK
Atatürk’s words, inscribed on the memorial stone overlooking ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli, echo in the heart. So too, does the music of Frederick Septimus Kelly. Kelly was an Australian-born composer, living in London when war broke out. He joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve with his friend, the poet Rupert Brooke. When Brooke fell ill and died on the way to Gallipoli, Kelly was by his side, and soon after Brooke’s death Kelly wrote a haunting string serenade in his memory.
One of Australia’s great storytellers, Neil Armfield, directs this heartfelt exploration of our ANZAC story through music, spoken text and visual imagery, where an Australian’s elegy for his friend brushes shoulders with the words of the father of modern Turkey. Set to music in a new work by Carl Vine featuring soprano Taryn Fiebig, the program also features English works that are evocative of the era, including Elgar’s Sospiri and Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, as well as the music of the Ottoman Empire and 20th-century Turkey.