Tabula Rasa

Tabula Rasa

Australian Chamber Orchestra

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This multi-sensory concert film from the Australian Chamber Orchestra captures the dangerous beauty of a tempestuous sea.

Like a stormy ocean, Arvo Pärt's philosophical "Tabula Rasa" — meaning "clean slate" — shifts dramatically between gentle lulls and crashing waves of sound. Written while Pärt's native Estonia was under Soviet control, the piece is a profound exploration of spirituality and independence. It features the composer's signature tintinnabuli style, where one voice follows the notes of a central triad while the other moves stepwise, creating a meditative and harmonious sound reminiscent of medieval chant.

Similarly, Shostakovich's powerful chamber symphony was defiantly dedicated "to the victims of fascism and the war," a supposed reference to both the atrocities of World War II and the composer's thinly veiled criticism of the Soviet regime. Together, these pieces capture a precarious beauty, like the steady defiance of a ship refusing to capsize.

Filmed at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion, this spectacular music film features dramatic video projections of choppy seas captured by renowned cinematographer Jon Frank and Beizj Studio, providing a stunning backdrop for the ACO players. This isn't your average chamber concert.

Tabula Rasa - Arvo Pärt
Chamber Symphony in C minor, Op.110a - Dmitri Shostakovich

Cast & Crew

(Director), Richard Tognetti (AO Director and Violin), Satu Vänskä (Violin), (Orchestra), (Composer), (Composer)

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