Septet No. 2 – Circle Ground (1995)

“Andrew Schultz’s Septet No. 2 – Circle Ground – begins with widely spread piano chords over which a spare long-note melody is picked out with soft muted strings providing extra warmth to the harmonic bed. Flute then clarinet join like creatures gathering at a quiet place, the clarinet swooping down like a bird.The harmonic world has a traditional reliance on low bass and upper resonance, yet it is infused with gentle lapping expectancy. After a small cello cadenza, the music breaks into dance-like patterns before pulling back for sparser intensity and a denouement that makes a nod back to the piano’s opening textures.In developing a personal harmonic language, Schultz wrestles with the perennial problem of creating a vocabulary of chords that have a freshness and serendipitous expressive potential but also coherence and order, not just indiscriminate subjectivity. These forces come together in Circle Ground, a work of distinctive colour, thoughtful reserve and quiet radiance.” [Peter McCallum, Sydney Morning Herald, 15 May 2010]

“Between these was Australian Andrew Schultz’s Septet No.2: Circle Ground (1995), which had the most reassuring tonal allure, one recalling minimalist and New Age idioms.” [Chang Tuo Laing, The Straits Times, 7 April 2009]