5 July 2020

World Premiere: Harry Sdraulig's Hat-trick

Written by Harry Sdraulig

Hat-trick was composed for Joshua Batty, Diana Doherty and Todd Gibson-Cornish for performance in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s chamber music series. Loosely cast in a rondo form, lively and virtuosic fast sections are interspersed with more lyrical, introspective interludes.

There is a certain paucity of trios for flute, oboe and bassoon in the repertoire. To me, this statistic is rather perplexing considering the sense of balance, blend, and virtuosity of which this combination is capable. When Diana Doherty approached me to compose the trio for this pair of concerts my thoughts soon turned to the idea of an up-tempo, high octane work, in no small part due to the extraordinary musicianship of the three performers involved, all world class soloists in their own right.

Hat-trick, as the work eventually became known, is guided by some of the same principles that denote a typical ‘hat-trick’ (the scoring of three goals by a single player) in a football match. In the case of this trio, the ‘player’ is not an individual but in fact a collective outcome of the three players working as a taut, energised ensemble. Rapidly interweaving lines are passed from performer to performer, partnerships between pairs of instruments are temporarily formed but then transferred, whilst each instrument also has several of their own soloistic moments in the sun. Not all of the music is fast – a short, slow interlude partway through the work brings out more introspective, expressive melodic lines before a vigorous conclusion.

Harry Sdraulig is one of 50 composers involved in 50 Fanfares – a multi-season initiative which will see the Sydney Symphony commission and present the world premieres of new music by 50 Australian composers. Hat-trick was not commissioned as part of 50 Fanfares.