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Love List:
Sunny Afternoon Classical
by Utzon Music Curator, Casey Green

Love List is our Spotify series where we ask Opera House guests, friends and staff to curate a playlist dedicated to an artist, genre or subject of their choice.

Casey Green is a classical music connoisseur, the curator of Utzon Music, and a lover of warm, sunny afternoons. 

Under her curatorship, Utzon Music 2023 will welcome a carefully selected program of exceptional international and local classical musicians, including Malian guitarist and singer Vieux Farka Touré, British vocal consort The Gesualdo Six, French string ensemble Quatuor Van Kuijk, iconic British string ensemble Brodsky Quartet, and more.

Invoking the splendid, light atmosphere and harbour views enjoyed from the Utzon Room, Casey has chosen a collection of her favourite works, perfect for enjoying on a sunny afternoon by the water or in the garden.

Sit back, relax and unwind to the melodic warmth of classical and chamber music in this uplifting Love List – best enjoyed with blue skies and sunshine.

▷ Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending

Nicola Benedetti, Andrew Litton, London Philharmonic Orchestra

Essential, life-affirming, warm-weather listening. I’ve decided I want this to be my alarm sound, and that everyone should rise to the serenades of Nicola Benedetti playing Vaughan Williams.

▷ Hummel: Trumpet Concertos in E-Flat Major I. Allegro con spirito

Alison Balsom, Thomas Klug, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen

The Hummel Trumpet Concerto truly slaps. This recording with Alison Balsom has a resounding, glorious vibe. Hummel’s Andante is sonorous and more subdued, but it leads to a romping final movement, so stick with it. To be enjoyed while gardening, watching your sausage dog run around, or paired with extra spirited spring cleaning.

▷ Antarctica - Suite for guitar and orchestra 2. Wooden Ships

David Porcelijn, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

▷ Babe - Orchestral Soundtrack: A Pig That Thinks It’s a Dog

Nigel Westlake, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Pigs and penguins. Westlake is a genius, and this music is brimming with beauty, warmth and nostalgia. Press play if you’re packed up and heading to Taronga Zoo or taking a country drive.

▷ Howard: Dappled Light

Jess Gillam, Jess Gillam Ensemble

From Hummel to Howard, from trumpets to saxophones. Maybe we should listen exclusively to golden instruments on our sunny afternoons? This piece nods to the works of Glass and Reich and has a shimmering, pulsing undercurrent that Jess Gillam’s dulcet tones soar above.

▷ Harrison: Swoop

Australian String Quartet

This has some serious spaghetti western energy, and is played with infectious joy and rhythm. Holly’s work is always oozing with fun and character. Press play when a territorial magpie arrives to disturb your picnic and things get serious. 

▷ Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 “Pastoral”: I. Allegro ma non troppo

Karl Böhm, Wiener Philharmoniker

The only sunny afternoon symphony. Resplendent, joyous and uncharacteristically optimistic for Beethoven, this work never ceases to lift the spirits and make the world alright again. 

▷ Copland: Appalachian Spring

Aaron Copland, Boston Symphony Orchestra

Ditch the airfare and the exchange rate, and instead travel through the stunning beauty of the Appalachian mountains with this evocative and iconic American work. 

▷ Respighi: Ancient Airs and Dances Suite No. 2, IV. Bergamasca

Seiji Ozawa, Boston Symphony Orchestra

Seize 👏 The 👏 Day 👏.

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