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If Christ had been born in another time

Sheet Music: Score

If Christ had been born in another time : for a cappella SATB choir / Matthew Orlovich.

by Matthew Orlovich (2008)


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Opening with the distinctive calls of Laughing Kookaburras, the scene is set for a new, Australian take on the age-old story of the Nativity.

Through a series of questions posed, the poet depicts Mary and Joseph travelling through the Australian outback. 'Would there have been no room in the pub?' 'Would they have been turned away while drovers and stockmen jostled the bar toasting the end of the day?' Would the Wise Men have brought gifts of 'perfume and oil from the eucalypt tree' or 'gold from a river's bed?'

Inspired by Edwards's strong imagery and fired up by the excitement and sense of celebration which is inherent in the story of the Nativity, I arrived at musical ideas which exhibit an energy and a rhythmic drive that propels the music to an uplifting conclusion, whereupon the choir sings, once more, the poem's opening verse:

If Christ had been born in another time
in a town of a different name,
If Christ had been born under southern skies
would the story have been the same?

Having set the scene at the commencement of the work, the Laughing Kookaburras return to have the last word.

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 facsimile score (16p. -- A4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Medium

Duration: 3 mins, 45 sec.

Commission info: Commissioned by Oriana Chorale

First performance by Tobias Cole, Oriana Chorale — 21 Dec 08. National Museum of Australia, Canberra

Contains composer's note and original poem.

Typeset edition.

ISMN: 979-0-67309-394-2

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