Back to All Events

Eurydice and the Harrowing of Hell

Piano Recital and Talk by Dr Danae Killian

3pm – 5pm Saturday 20th April 2019
The Christian Community, 319 Auburn Rd Hawthorn, VIC
Entry: $20 donation

Program for Piano Recital:

Sikinnis III (2015) by Evan Lawson
Rondo in A minor, KV 511 by W. A. Mozart
From a Star Afar (2018) by Eve Duncan WORLD PREMIERE
Piano Sonata (1960) by Helen Gifford

Gretchen, s. 513, from the Faust Symphony, by Franz Liszt
The Necessity of Mary (2018) by Susan Frykberg

In the Christian liturgical calendar, Holy Saturday commemorates the Harrowing of Hell—the descent of Christ, between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, to the Underworld to free the souls of the dead. The Greek story of Orpheus journeying to Hades in quest of his lost Eurydice foreshadows the Christian mystery. Orpheus sought with music to overcome death.

Danaë Killian will not attempt by way of this piano recital to imaginatively illustrate the story of Orpheus playing his lyre in the Underworld. Instead, she will address her musing foremost to Eurydice’s being and substance: Who, or what, is Eurydice? Why is her death significant? Why is Eurydice precious to both Orpheus and Hades? Where might we find Eurydice now? What does she mean for music? What does she mean for knowledge?

In allusory facets and outlines, Danaë Killian’s selection of musical compositions offers an exploration of these questions—free-flowing questions which invite the differentiated, non-verbal responsiveness of the musical element. Nevertheless, with its focus on complex new music written by living, local composers, the overall gesture of Eurydice and the Harrowing of Hell turns away from the Orpheus legend’s familiarly dreamy romantic contours. Killian’s approach to Eurydice, as well as her approach to pianism, finds imaginative articulation through modern phenomenology, to which she gives the task of making what is esoteric or existentially hidden—such as the mysterious being of Eurydice sojourning in Hades—freely open to human thinking.

Uriel Event
Supported by The Ligsma Kirpe Trust and The Anthroposophical Society in Victoria