Gordon Kerry’s flute concerto, Captain Flinders’ Musick, was inspired by navigator and cartographer Matthew Flinders who, in addition to his maritime skills, was an amateur flautist. Kerry’s work evokes Flinders’ voyages of discovery and pays homage to the music that Flinders very likely played on those long journeys. The concerto was written for the soloist in this concert, distinguished artist Alison Mitchell.
Mendelssohn was likewise inspired by ocean-going travel in his illustrative concert overture, Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage. A personal friend of Robert Schumann, Mendelssohn conducted the first performance of Schumann’s Spring Symphony, a work that brims with hope, optimism and the promise of new life. New life also informs Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll, a gift from the composer to his wife, Cosima, in thanks for the safe arrival of their baby boy, Siegfried.