Carl Vine composed The Tempest for The Queensland Ballet, with choreography by Jacqui Carroll, in 1990. it was a highly stylised version of the Shakespearean play, but retaining all of the same characters and action. ‘Because at the time the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra was small in numbers ‐ fewer than 20 ‐ the score contained equal amounts of electronic/prerecorded and orchestral music, plus a certain amount which was a combination of both,’ Vine says. To compile the Concert Suite, he extracted about 20 minutes of the most poignant sections for orchestra alone. The full score ran to 100 minutes.
The opening movement is an overture depicting the tempest at sea ‐ the first scene of the play. From here, the Suite follows the sequence of the Shakespearean original, albeit in a truncated form, with the second movement featuring Prospero and Miranda ‐ one of the play’s early scenes ‐ and then the Conspirators emerge. The fourth movement depicts one of the duets between Ferdinand and Miranda, before the suite then cuts out the middle section of the play, picking up the action once more as Prospero relents and gives his blessing to Ferdinand and Miranda, before resolving in the Finale.
Martin Buzacott, © 2004 Australian Broadcasting Corporation