John Antill (1904-1986) was one of the foremost composers of Australia's post-colonial period. Although a relatively prolific and much esteemed composer in Australia, Antill's wider reputation is sustained chiefly by his famous ballet Corroboree - a work which was perceived to bring an authentic Australian musical style before both a national and international audience for the first time. Through Sir Eugene Goossens' championship, the work was heard by enthusiastic audiences in Australia, Britain, Europe and the USA, and was, for many years, the best-known work of any Australian-born and resident composer. Indeed it has remained, for both Australian and overseas audiences, an Australian musical icon. David Symons traces Antill's development as a composer from his early, pre-Corroboree works, which display a late Romantic to post-impressionist style, through an analysis of the virile, dissonant, primitivist idiom of his magnum opus, to an examination of his later output of theatrical, orchestral and vocal/choral works. The book provides comprehensive and valuable insight into Antill's musical output, at the same time focussing on more detailed analyses of his major works which have reached public performances and/or recordings. In this way the book not only presents a developmental picture of Antill's works, but also demonstrates why they have made him one of Australia's most prominent musical creators of the post-colonial period.
Table of Contents
List of Musical Examples
Introduction: A Creative Career in Two Stages Defined by an Australian Musical Icon
Chapter 1: Before Corroboree
Chapter 2: Corroboree: The Turning Point
Interlude: Antill After Corroboree: An Overview
Chapter 3: After Corroboree (1): Theatre Works
Chapter 4: After Corroboree (2): Orchestral Works
Chapter 5: After Corroboree (3): Choral and Vocal Works
Epilogue: John Antill as a ‘One Work Composer’?
Appendix 1: List of Original Compositions by John Antill
Appendix 2: Corroboree: Antill’s Original Choreographic Outline
Appendix 3: Select Bibliography
David Symons is an Associate Professor of Music in the School of Music, The University of Western Australia. His major published research since the 1990s has been in the field of post-colonial Australian art music and includes a monograph, The Music of Margaret Sutherland, together with a number of articles, book chapters and encyclopaedia entries on Australian music of the period from Federation to 1960.