The 6th February 2009 was the day before ‘Black Saturday’ when the temperature soared to 40+ degrees, it was two days before Dame Elisabeth Murdoch’s 100th birthday and it was the day Paul Dean, Artistic Director of ANAM, visited Dame Elisabeth at her beloved home – Cruden Farm.
The memory of that day was seared into Paul Dean’s memory. The most extreme heat he ever experienced wilting the glorious garden; the cool of the house overflowing with memories; the wonderful music room and the ever-gracious Dame Elisabeth.
This visit inspired Paul to compose his new clarinet quintet titled ‘Cruden Farm’, which was premiered on Thursday 22 March in the music room at Cruden Farm in the presence of Dame Elisabeth. As the quintet played in the bay window, the verdant green lawn and garden seen through the leadlight windows were a spectacular testament to the resilience of nature. This deeply evocative work ends with the gentle breathing of the clarinet. Dame Elisabeth was deeply appreciative and would like to hear the work again surrounded by family and friends, ANAM hopes to share this work with its audiences in the near future.
‘Cruden Farm’ was performed by Paul Dean clarinet and first year ANAM students: Cameron Jamieson violin, Amy Brookman violin, Matt Laing viola and James Larsen cello.
By Lin Bender