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Prelude to a Kiss – Hourglass Ensemble

12 August 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm AEST

The Hourglass Ensemble presents jazz and cabaret influenced contemporary Australian chamber music in a Spiegeltent style premiere of Tim Hansen’s latest song cycle, alongside works of Duke Ellington, Whitwell, Chopin, and Lam.

  • Clarinets/director – Andrew Kennedy
  • Flutes – Ewa Kowalski
  • Saxophones – Nathan Henshaw
  • Trumpets – Andrew del Riccio
  • Percussion – Tim Brigden
  • Mezzo-soprano – Jo Burton
  • Piano – Gregory Kinda

Sydney’s favourite international chamber music export The Hourglass Ensemble presents breezy jazz standards from Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald, headlined by “Prelude to a Kiss” and “Lullaby of Birdland”. Hourglass welcomes trumpet and percussion for the first time to give that smoky club feel, and some suave silky sounds.
Alongside, they premiere Australian Tim Hansen’s humorous, dark, poignant song cycle, “The Sharpest Piece”: cabaret, circus, melodrama, expressionism, and music theatre fused – chronicling Sigmund Freud’s treatment of a woman suffering the bizarre delusion that she is completely made of glass. She lives in fear of her behaviour upsetting her husband, or of making any moves that might cause her to shatter. There are moments of Spiegeltent magic and epic rock in a mesmerising new work especially for Hourglass.
Next, the third piano sonata of Chopin, his most rich, difficult, and brilliant work of all, and the only piece he wrote in 1844 while his romance with George Sand fractured. Watch Gregory again take total command of the Opera House Steinway!
Finally, Hourglass play a funky new piece “Canon” by Nathan Lam, commissioned by us for clarinet, tenor sax, and piano, and the favourite flute solo “Spirit of the Plains” by Sally Whitwell.

  • TIM HANSEN – The Sharpest Piece*, song cycle for mezzo soprano and jazz chamber ensemble
  • NATHAN LAM – Canon* for clarinet, tenor saxophone, and piano
  • SALLY WHITWELL – Spirt of the Plains for flute and piano
  • FREDERIC CHOPIN – piano sonata number 3
  • DUKE ELLINGTON – four jazz tunes arr. Andrew Kennedy


Sydney Opera House: Utzon Room, Sydney
2 Macquarie Street
Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia