Beginning of the World

The Beginning of the World

Presented by Melbourne Chamber Orchestra


The two great gardens of English music, separated by two centuries, are the theme of this concert experience co-curated by Sophie Rowell and the incomparable Genevieve Lacey.

The beautiful, intricate music of Elizabethan and Stuart England is an escape to a world far from our own. In this first flowering of English music, composer William Byrd sowed the seeds with his round, ‘The Beginning of the World’, and the sublime artistry of Purcell burst forth. When Elgar, Walton and others began to plant the second great garden in more recent times, the earlier golden age was never far from their minds.

For decades, audiences and fellow artists have been drawn to Genevieve Lacey’s unique artistic visions, which reimagine music from diffuse contexts as wholes greater than the sum of their parts. We are delighted to be joined on stage by Genevieve for the first time since 2017.

Featuring 500 years of English music curated by Sophie Rowell and Genevieve Lacey.

Melbourne Chamber Orchestra is a Key Presenting Partner at Melbourne Recital Centre. For more information on the Centre’s Key Presenting Partners see here.

COVID Safety

Melbourne Recital Centre is committed to the safety of our artists, staff and patrons. A range of public health, hygiene and physical distancing measures are currently in place. Click here to learn more.


Sophie Rowell director
Genevieve Lacey recorder
Melbourne Chamber Orchestra


Anon / Johannes Kepler arr. – Veltheim
The Beginning of the World: A Planetary Prelude and Sellinger’s Round for Descant Recorder, Baroque Guitar, Chamber Organ and 14 Solo Strings

‘Variations on an Elizabethan Theme’ (selections)

Edward Elgar, arr. – Veltheim
Sospiri Op. 70

John Playford, arr. – Veltheim
A Playford Maze: A montage from The Dancing Master for Descant Recorder, Lute, Chamber Organ and Strings

William Byrd
Sellinger’s Round

Orlando Gibbons

Henry Purcell
Fantasias in 4 parts: No. 6 & No. 8

William Walton
2 Pieces for Strings from Henry V

Gordon Jacob
Suite for Recorder and Strings