Robert Allworth (1943–2017) — Vision of Lourdes (1989) for organ
Australian composer Robert Allworth (1943–2017) wrote a large body of music in a personal and distinctive style that made him a significant Australian musical figure in his generation. Much of Allworth's output was inspired by Roman Catholicism and a deep devotion to the saints. Other works are inspired by ancient civilizations, literary classics, and a variety of diverse subjects. A remarkable sound painter of mood and atmosphere, Allworth’s musical language blended serial technique with romantic/impressionist harmonies and a kind of tranquil spiritual ecstasy. He said: “To me, music must convey something about life, or create a poetic mood.” For many years, Allworth was active as a record producer, releasing over 100 CD recordings of music by many Australian composers on the Jade label. He collaborated quite actively with the Sydney Mandolins in an enormous series of compositions for mandolin as solo and chamber instrument. In 1997, he received the prestigious Order of Australia Medal for his work as a composer and for his work as an advocate for the music of his homeland.
“Vision of Lourdes” (1989) is one of Allworth’s “Visions of Mary Immaculate.” This piece commemorates the Marian apparitions in Lourdes, France first reported in 1858 by Saint Bernadette Soubirous. A slow melody floats in the air, answered by fervent refrains.