Full Circle - Background
Michael Mulcahy and Eric Klay first met at the Australian National Music Camp in 1975 in Adelaide. The following year they toured the United States with the Australian Youth Orchestra as part of Australia’s contribution to America’s Bicentennial celebrations. In 1977 both Michael and Eric joined the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra where a lifelong friendship developed. Thirty-five years later they have come “full circle” to record this CD.
Full Circle is a collection of works for Trombone by noted Australian composers. These include world premiere recordings of Sonata for Three Trombones and Two Percussion by Richard Mills, Trombone Quartet by Barry McKimm and At A Loss by Stuart Campbell.
Full Circle features the following musicians:
- Michael Mulcahy – Alto/Tenor Trombone (Chicago Symphony Orchestra)
- Eric Klay – Bass Trombone (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra)
- Scott Kinmont - Tenor Trombone (Sydney Symphony Orchestra)
- Michael Bertoncello - Tenor Trombone (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra)
- Nick Byrne – Tenor Trombone (Sydney Symphony Orchestra )
- John Arcaro - Timpani and Percussion (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra)
- Rob Cossom – Percussion (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra).
Michael Mulcahy, Eric Klay, Michael Bertoncello and Scott Kinmont are all current members of the Australian Trombone Quartet.
Love Song (Carl Vine) featuring Michael Mulcahy
Love Song was commissioned by, and is dedicated to, trombonist Simone de Haan. ”Written after a long period in which both Simone and I had been involved in the performance of a great deal of intellectually, technically and physically demanding music, it is concerned more with the purely lyrical aspects of musical performance. While demanding considerable stamina on the part of a live trombonist, the long sustained notes throughout the work function as a “warm-up” for the player’s embouchure, culminating in some of the highest notes available to a tenor trombone.” Carl Vine.
Sonata for Three Trombones and Two Percussion (Richard Mills) featuring Michael Mulcahy, Nick Byrne, Eric Klay, John Arcaro and Rob Cossom
Richard Mills started his career as a percussionist, and in August 1976 he and Michael Mulcahy became colleagues in the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. A deep personal friendship developed and Richard presented Michael with the score of Sonata for Three Trombones and Two Percussion for his nineteenth birthday, the 23rd of January, 1977. The Sonata is a work of high drama, embodying tremendous intensity and anguish in the first movement, and glorious transformation and repose in the second movement.
White Knight and Beaver (Martin Wesley-Smith) featuring Michael Mulcahy
One of Martin’s major interests is the life, work and ideas of Lewis Carroll.
“In this piece Lewis Carroll is a trombone playing White Knight showing a fiddle playing Alice, how if one plays music boxes backwards and upside down, some really lovely snippets of melody can be heard. Commissioned by Miles Anderson (trombone) and Erica Sharpe (violin/viola) in 1984.
In Transit (Stuart Greenbaum) featuring Eric Klay
In Transit, composed in 2001 for Eric Klay, combines jazz, pop and minimalism into a joyful ride as a “view from a window” in an aeroplane.
Trombone Quartet (Barry McKimm) featuring the Australian Trombone Quartet with Michael Mulcahy on Alto Trombone
The Trombone Quartet was composed for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Trombone Quartet in 1984 and features the alto trombone. This music encompasses beautiful hymn-like passages surrounding a middle section which becomes quite wild at times.
At A Loss (Stuart Campbell) featuring Eric Klay
At A Loss was written in response to an afternoon of conversation shared with Eric Klay. It became evident Eric had dealt with much tumult in his life as a father; I was At a Loss to know what to say or do to help him. Music being the only art form that is entirely abstract, performs a transformative function in making the inexpressible not only borne, but also bearable.
The music is simple in design: a classically beautiful melodic line, that purposefully exploits the emotional weight of particular intervals, is offset by the contrasting sonic beds of shifting and undulating harmonics.” Stuart Campbell.
Four Concert Studies: for Four Trombones (David Stanhope) featuring the Australian Trombone Quartet
Four Concert Studies: for Four Trombones was composed for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Trombone Quartet in 1984. David’s thorough knowledge of the trombone makes these studies extremely challenging and rewarding. For instance, Tremolo Study (the second movement) has implicit instructions not to adjust slide positions on the harmonics, resulting in a very interesting sound concept.
1. Love Song Carl Vine (6:56)
M. Mulcahy - Trombone
Sonata for Three Trombones and Two Percussion Richard Mills (26:13)
2. Allegro Agitato (9:59)
3. Lento e Sereno (16:14)
M. Mulcahy, N. Byrne – Trombone and E. Klay – Bass Trombone
J. Arcaro - Timpani and Percussion and R. Cossom - Percussion
4. White Knight and Beaver Martin Wesley-Smith (9:23)
M. Mulcahy – Trombone
5. In Transit Stuart Greenbaum (5:12)
E. Klay - Bass Trombone
6. Trombone Quartet Barry McKimm (13:13)
M. Mulcahy - Alto Trombone, S. Kinmont and M. Bertoncello – Trombone
E. Klay – Bass Trombone
7. At A Loss Stuart Campbell (4:40)
E. Klay - Bass Trombone
Four Concert Studies: for Four Trombones David Stanhope (12:06)
8. With Jazz-Like Nonchalance (2:46)
9. Tremolo Study (1:37)
10. Rubato (4:11)
11. As Fast As Possible (3:32)
M. Mulcahy, S. Kinmont and M. Bertoncello – Trombone
E. Klay – Bass Trombone
Eric Klay, Michael Bertonello, Scott Kinmont and Michael Mulcahy.
Eric Klay and Michael Mulcahy would sincerely like to thank the following individuals and organisations for their unqualified support of this recording project over the years:
- The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Trevor Green, former Managing Director, Lou Oppenheim, Director of Operations, Angela Chilcott, Assistant Orchestra Manager and the former Orchestra Manager, Barb Glaser for the use of percussion equipment and the Iwaki Auditorium.
- Jim Atkins and Haig Burnell for the engineering and mastering.
- The Australian National Academy of Music, for the use of the South Melbourne Town Hall in the Richard Mills recording.
- The Nillumbik Shire Council and Arts Victoria for funding towards this project.