Die schöne Müllerin

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Details

Schubert’s heartbreaking tale of love and loss

Much loved tenor Michael Smallwood’s sell-out concerts have been a highlight of Melbourne Art Song Collective’s activities over the last five years. Smallwood joins Eidit Golder (piano) for Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin, an apotheosis of the song cycle form, and an enchanting vehicle for this experienced duo’s powers of poignant characterisation and storytelling.

The Melbourne Art Song Collective (MASC) has been bringing fine music to audiences since 2009. Their programs are diverse, often combining iconic and well-loved song cycles with brand new compositions in a way that respects the history of Art Song while showing it to be a vibrant and evolving genre.

In 2015 Melbourne Recital Centre’s Local Heroes series shares the stories of our World War I heroes.

This concert is in tribute to General Sir John Monash, one of our greatest and most illustrious ANZAC heroes.

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre and Melbourne Art Song Collective

PROGRAM

Program

SCHUBERT
Die schöne Müllerin

YOUR WWI LOCAL HERO

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The greatest Australian: John Monash was born in Melbourne to a family of Polish-Jewish origin in 1865. He went Scotch College and then studied engineering, law and arts for a brilliant but lengthy period at the University of Melbourne.

Monash had business difficulties in the 1890s and early 1900s, but finally made his fortune in reinforced concrete. His military career took off when he was put in charge of the Victorian section of the Australian Intelligence Corps (militia). At the outbreak of war, he commanded the AIF 4th Brigade, and sailed for Egypt on 22 December 1914.

Monash landed with the 4th Brigade at Gallipoli on 26 April, and while the brigade performed well under difficult conditions, Monash had no part in the planning of the campaign. Charles Bean, official historian, reported the saying that Monash would ‘command a division better than a brigade and a corps better than a division.’ Monash was promoted to brigadier general in July.

In France in July 1916, Monash was promoted to Major General, commanding the new 3rd Division then training in England. His first major success was the battle at Messines in June 1917, as part of Sir Herbert Plumer’s Second Army.

In November, the 3rd Division joined the other divisions in the First Anzac Corps and in March–April 1918 beat back the final German offensive in front of Amiens, retaking Villers-Bretonneux on Anzac Day 1918. Monash was made Lieutenant General and the first Australian commander of an Australian Corps on 1 June. The greatest period in Australian military history followed. Australians were for the first time in the spearhead of the Allied advance, facing the major enemy on the main battlefield.

The battle of Hamel on 4 July was the beginning. This has been called the first modern battle where troops, tanks, aircraft and artillery combined successfully: ‘all over in 93 minutes—the perfection of team-work,’ wrote Monash in his book The Australian Victories in France in 1918.

General Erich Ludendorff called 8 August Germany’s ‘Black Day’—the Australian breakout, with the Canadians, was the beginning of the end of the war. A triumphant series of battles followed, including Mont Saint-Quentin, Péronne and Saint-Quentin Canal, that saw the AIF break through the Hindenburg Line in October.

Monash’s military victories were models of engineering, planning and confidence. He applied the same skills to the great task of repatriating the 160,000 men of the AIF back to Australia. He returned on Boxing Day 1919.

After the war, Monash worked in many prominent civilian positions, the most notable being head of the Victorian State Electricity Commission. He was a leading and loved public figure after the war, becoming involved in many public and private organisations and in the commemorations of Anzac Day. He was Deputy Chairman of the National War Memorial Committee from its inception and it was his influence that finally saw the construction of the Shrine of Remembrance. He died in 1931.

Story by war historian and writer Garrie Hutchinson.
Edited by Gordon Kerry.

Venue