Peter McCallum | 5 August 2018
The opening phrase of the first work, Dance Mantra, a short celebratory choral piece from 1992, captured something of the essence of Ross Edwards' music – deftly quiet voices, nimble rhythms like the flitting of insects and an imaginary ritual all coming together to create a light ecstasy of spirit.
The concert celebrating the much-loved composer's 75th year, jointly presented by Sydney Chamber Choir and the City Recital Hall, with Synergy percussion concert, was true to Edwards' characteristic humility, with more pieces by others than by Edwards himself.
Steve Moffatt | 6 August 2018
“I’m a person who puts dots on paper and I am slightly bedazzled by all this attention.” So said a typically modest Ross Edwards, Australian classical music’s most performed and arguably most popular contemporary composer, who turns 75 later this year.
For 40 of those years he has composed pieces for two of this country’s finest ensembles, Sydney Chamber Choir and Synergy, the percussion ensemble collective, but he is most famous for the worldwide TV broadcast of his Dawn Mantras with a young girl chorister perched atop the Sydney Opera House sails to sing in the new Millennium.
Tony Burke | 7 August 2018
Birthday invitations are not to be sneezed at and it was a privilege to be part of a celebration of Ross Edwards's seventy-fifth year at City Recital Hall. He is probably Australia's best known contemporary composer with Peter Sculthorpe no longer with us and has continued the tradition of invoking sounds of native Australis, human and otherwise, in his music.
Paul Nolan | 8 August 2018
DANCE CHANT : CELEBRATING ROSS EDWARDS was a supremely entertaining event which was significant on several levels. The evening celebrated the unique voice and a portion of the prolific output of this composer in his 75th birthday year. And who better to deliver this tribute concert than Sydney Chamber Choir, which has enjoyed a productive and close relationship with Edwards and so many Australian composers in the past.
Mark Bosch | 8 August 2018
The greatest strength of Saturday night’s Dance Chant was its unbroken appeal to reverence. Reverence for one of the most inimitable voices in Australian music, Ross Edwards, certainly. But also reverence for a God, for the Earth, and — as a joint presentation by Sydney Chamber Choir and Synergy Percussion — for the two most ancient forms of music making.