Tony Way
Limelight, Australia
May 2018

Antony Pitts is something of a musical polymath: composer, choir director, conductor, teacher and radio producer are some of the strings to his musical bow. He may be best known to Australian audiences as Artistic Director of The Song Company … textually, the work uses the Jewish (and by extension, Christian) scriptures to evoke the city regarded as holy by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, beginning with the genealogy of Abraham and concluding with Isaiah's vision of a peaceful Jerusalem. Musically, the score is thoroughly postmodern. Pitts peppers his kaleidoscopic pop-style writing with numerous references to Western art music ranging from Dunstaple, White, and Tallis through to Handel and Parry. This studio remix of a 2011 recording (with biblical verses read by David Suchet) eagerly communicates the commitment of the young performers, underlining the composer's hope that the oratorio will have wide audience appeal, regardless of listeners' backgrounds. The challenging but rewarding score could provide a unifying focus for performers of different origins in the midst of very real conflict in the Middle East.