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beginning & the end of the snow

Sheet Music: Score

The beginning & the end of the snow : an epic song cycle for soprano & boutique orchestra / words: Yves Bonnefoy ; music: David Chisholm.

by David Chisholm (2007)


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The Beginning and the End of the Snow is a mise-en-musique of Yves Bonnefoy's 1991 poetry cycle Debut et fin de la neige for Dramatic Soprano and boutique orchestra of virtuosi musicians. The setting of a celebrated epic French poem by an Australian composer was a deliberate choice to position the song cycle as a post-colonial 'text'. My ambition was to create a work that transformed the reflective, exquisite diaristic aspects of the words, into a tableau vivant that played with the spectres of European musical heritage. The musical charter of the work toys with the very essence of colonialism, (where 'signs' are imposed onto landscapes foreign and distant), making informed subtle references to many canonical French composers while never descending to mere pastiche. This approach to composition is a foundation of my practise, heavily influenced by writers such as Michel Foucault, Marc Augé and Harold Bloom. European antecedence in Australian music remains a curiously problematic site, but one that preoccupies my thoughts, and therefore work. French also has the double 'other' function in an Australian cultural setting.

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 facsimile score (173p. -- A4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced — Professional.

Dedication note: "To and for Miriam Gordon-Stewart" -- Caption.
Commission info: Written and premiered with the financial support of Arts Victoria, Australia Council, The Robert Salzer Foundation, Sidney Myer Fund, CIty of Melbourne and the Republique Française and Alliance Française.

First performance by Miriam Gordon-Stewart, Richard Haynes, Alice Giles, Ceridwen Davies, Caerwen Martin, Peter Dumsday, Timothy Phillips — 2 Aug 07. Melbourne

Computer-notated score.

First performance by Miriam Gordon-Stewart (soprano) and ensemble, at Collins Street Baptist Church, Melbourne, 2 August 2007.

Typeset edition.

ISMN: 979-0-67309-278-5

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