fortyfivedownstairs in association with Melbourne Festival presents

Variations and Cantations

The spectacular Canzone installation is illuminated through sound by two music programs: Variations and Cantations.


Led by critically-acclaimed pianist Sonya Lifschitz, contemporary ensemble Press, Play takes the sensuous splendor of Monteverdi’s madrigals as a departure point to create Variations - an inspired musical journey in time from the sumptuous beauty of High Renaissance, via the liturgical purity of Baroque, to the unpredictable whimsy of modernity.

Featuring Sonya Lifschitz (piano), Laila Engle (flute), Callum Moncrief (percussion), Alexandra Sherman (mezzo soprano) and Tabatha McFadyen (soprano), Press, Play invite you on an impassioned musical and visual journey as words, sounds, and images collide and coalesce.


SAARIAHO / Si Dolce è il Tormento

MONTEVERDI (ARR. P. SARCICH) / Si Dolce è il Tormento

CRUMB / Little Suite for Christmas (selections)

MONTEVERDI (ARR. SARCICH) /Lamento d'Arianna

BACH (ARR. J. BRAHMS and E. MORENO) / Chaconne in D minor

MONTEVERDI (ARR. T. MUNRO) / Lamento della Ninfa

SCELSI / Hyxos

MONTEVERDI (ARR. P. SARCICH) / Pur ti Miro, Pur ti Godo (from L’incoronazione di Poppea)

Variations performance times

Tue 13 October at 3pm (combined Cantations andVariations abridged programs)
Wed 14 October at 3pm
Thu 15 October at 5pm
Tue 20 October at 3pm
Wed 21 October at 3pm
Thu 22 October at 5pm


Cantations features the historically accurate performance of leading Monteverdi scholar and harpsichordist John O’Donnell and the singers of Accademia Arcadia.  The program features works from Monteverdi’s 7th and 8th book of Madrigals, as well as his contemporaries Giovanni Picchi and Girolamo Frescobaldi.

Featuring John O’Donnell (harpsichord), Jerzy Kozlowski (bass), Dan Walker (tenor), Michelle Clark (soprano) and Christopher Roache (tenor and counter tenor).

MONTEVERDINinfa che scalza il piede from the 8th Book of Madrigals

MONTEVERDI / Con che soavita from the 7th Book of Madrigals

MONTEVERDI / Pur ti miro, pur ti godo from L'Incoronazione di Poppea

PICCHI / Toccata

MONTEVERDI / Mentre vaga Angioletta from the 8th Book of Madrigals

MONTEVERDI /Gira el nemico from the 8th Book of Madrigals

FRESCOBALDICento partite sopra passacagli

MONTEVERDI / Amor: Lamento della Ninfa from8th Book of Madrigals

Cantations performance times

Tue 13 October at 3pm (combined Cantations andVariations abridged programs)
Wed 14 October at 5pm
Thu 15 October at 3pm
Tue 20 October at 12pm
Wed 21 October at 5pm
Thu 22 October at 3pm