Composed in 2004 for the Grevillea
Ensemble; first performed by Guest Artist, Diana Doherty.
Composer's note: Comprising three sections, the score begins with a calm nocturnal atmosphere with plaintive oboe calls and a tranquil, lyrical music about the moon and stars. Simple, sustained arpeggios accompany the voice.
The central section of the work, scored for oboe and piano, is a response to McAuley's image of 'the exquisite circumspection of the stars treading the heavenly floor'. The musical ideas in this section include a 'music-box' style piano figuration and an oboe solo featuring emotive, yearning phrases of disjunct intervals.
The final section of the work begins with solo voice ('And insolent hope surprises my sole heart'). Piano tremolos enter to accompany a pairing of voice and oboe and the work builds to a climax which reflects on the spurious glimmer of a dawn upon the infinite, the nevermore.
Information provided to AustLit by Matthew Orlovich.
yUnder AldebaranJames McAuley,
Melbourne:Melbourne University Press,1946Z1379011946selected work poetry Melbourne:Melbourne University Press,1946
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