“One of the most amazing performances that I was awake to hear was the Gallipoli Symphony playing an incredibly moving piece by Australian composer Andrew Schultz. The piece, titled The August Offensive, is part eight of ten orchestrated movements which are composed each year, leading to the 100 year anniversary. At this milestone, in 2015, all ten movements will be orchestrated into one entire symphony. The powerful and emotive music transcended time and space and so skilfully created a vivid picture of wartime.” http://thesharechair.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/anzac-day-gallipoli-lest-we-forget.html
August Offensive, Opus 92, is a new orchestral work by Andrew Schultz that had its premiere at the ANZAC Day dawn service at Gallipoli, Turkey on 25 April, 2013. The work is a seven minute piece commissioned by the Australian Government’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs as a part of the centenary of Gallipoli Symphony project. The project, directed by Chris Latham, has involved the commissioning of new works by Australian, New Zealand and Turkish composers to eventually form a full length work for performance in 2015 – the centenary of the ANZAC landing. August Offensive is a climactic, fast and loud work commissioned in specific commemoration of the horrendous battles in August 1915 which saw some of the worst and most deadly fighting during the entire campaign.
Another of Andrew Schultz’s works which has taken on a war connection is the very gentle piece, Wild Flower. It can be heard on YouTube in a performance by the Song Company from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, directed by the group’s Artistic Director, Roland Peelman.
“The Song Company, emerging from the terraces, drew with their voices the wreath across the waters, performing Andrew Schultz’s powerful contemporary Australian song Wild Flower.” Read more by Darren Mitchell about another notable performance of Wild Flower at the ANZAC Memorial in Sydney’s Hyde Park.
Beach Burial is a 12 minute work for chorus and orchestra – a setting of Kenneth Slessor’s World War Two poem of the same name. The poem describes the burial of sailors washed ashore at El Alamein after a sea battle. The work was commissioned by the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and Orchestra (Brett Weymark, conductor) who gave the work its premiere in November 2009 at the Sydney Opera House. The work was a finalist in the Art Music awards for 2011. A recording and score are available from the Australian Music Centre.
For more about August Offensive, Beach Burial and Wild Flower, here is a link to the catalogue section of the composer’s website.