Ruth Roshan was asked to join the Australian National Academy of Music on mandolin for their first concert of 2015. There were three works presented that evening, here's a review of the Lehmann work Ruth participated in (from Classic Melbourne).
"Apart from his virtues as a conductor (he was recently appointed conductor of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra), the presence of Stanley Dodds contributed to a happy meeting of three notable Australian violinists at different stages of their careers for Wilfred Lehmann’s Symphonic Requiem to the Child Victims of War. Wilfred Lehmann has had a distinguished international career as a violinist in addition to his output as composer; Stanley Dodds has been a tenured violinist in the Berlin Philharmonic since 1994, in addition to being much in demand as a conductor; and soloist for this work, ANAM alumnus Shane Chen, is making his mark as a solo violinist and chamber music player, most notably with the Flinders Quartet.
As the orchestra was being set up for the second item, Artistic Director Paul Dean reminisced about his association with Wilfred Lehmann in Queensland and playing in the 1993 premiere of his Symphonic Requiem. It is astonishing to think that what proved to be such an appealing and accessible work could have almost fallen into oblivion. The score had disappeared and was only discovered a year ago.
Shane Chen may not have been playing on a violin he had made himself (as Wilfred Lehmann had) but he gave a persuasive account of the demanding solo part of what is essentially a violin concerto. Its four movements, played without a pause, are full of striking effects that evoke intimations of military threat, the innocence of childhood, the brutality of war and, finally, the ensuing grief. The inclusion of a mandolin to conjure up the skipping innocence of childhood was most effective in Ruth Roshan’s capable hands, its fragility making a telling contrast to the orchestra in militaristic might, drums and tuba underpinning a relentless juggernaut of threat.
Chen’s violin, increasingly panic-stricken in character, culminated in an extended cadenza of keening that led in turn to a melody of lament, echoes of childhood and a final shiver of percussion bookending the piece. With such powerful and expressive playing from Chen and the orchestra and such decided approval from the audience it was little wonder that Wilfred Lehmann looked extremely pleased when he stood to take a bow. We had all been presented with a persuasive argument as to why this unjustly neglected work should be part of standard repertoire in Australian concert halls."