T he title The Enchanted Loomis remarkably poetic for a composer who, until quite recently, has tended to eschew extra-musical inspiration in his work. “I’ve always been rather suspicious of music based on poetry or short stories,” Carl Vine tells me as we discuss his newly minted Eighth Symphony. “It seemed to me a bit of a cheap trick.”

Vine’s Eighth Symphony, which the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has commissioned and will premiere at the...

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