One of the pleasures of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s 50 Fanfares project will be hearing 50 different takes on the same compositional brief. Already the second fanfare, Lyle Chan’s Gravity and Levity on the Sunbreathing Earth, which opened this neatly programmed concert conducted by Dane Lam, is a very different beast to Connor D’Netto’s frenetic Uncertain Planning , despite both works drawing on their composer’s pandemic experiences. Shot through with humour and bright, sunny figures punctuated with darker stabs of snare drum and martial brass, Chan’s fanfare has a bubbling energy that swings from upbeat to anxious, before plunging into a slowed-down world of funereal chimes and lyrical strings. Chan packs a lot of ideas into this short work – just as the year 2020 felt unusually eventful – but they soon coalesce into a repeating string melody that, with clashing brass overhead, brings to mind the passacaglia of Elena Kats-Chernin’s Mythic. The tensions ultimately resolve into something more consonant, infusing the work’s final bars with a – not entirely unqualified – sense of hope for the future.

Dane Lam Conductor Dane...

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