The Blue Mountains : for orchestra
by Robert Allworth (2010)
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Library shelf no. Q 784.2/ALL 1 [Available for loan]
The Blue Mountains have provided the composer with a great source of inspiration. The opening bars describe Echo Point and the Megalong Valley. String harmonies and the brass depict the vastness of the landscape between the two. As the work proceeds, it continues to express more of the beauty of the Blue Mountains. The Three Sisters (which are over 3,000 feet above sea level) are portrayed by the brass and strings, and episodes of woodwinds and horns depict the deep feelings of the blue haze of the mountains.
The Aboriginal dream-time legend has it that three sisters, 'Meehni', 'Wimlah' and 'Gunnedoo' lived in the Jamieson Valley as members of the Katoomba tribe.
These beautiful young ladies had fallen in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe, yet tribal law forbade them to marry.
The brothers were not happy to accept this law and so decided to use force to capture the three sisters causing a major tribal battle.
As the lives of the three sisters were seriously in danger, a witchdoctor from the Katoomba tribe took it upon himself to turn the three sisters into stone to protect them from any harm. While he had intended to reverse the spell when the battle was over, the witchdoctor himself was killed. As only he could reverse the spell to return the ladies to their former beauty, the sisters remain in their magnificent rock formation as a reminder of this battle for generations to come.
The composition ends with a coda recalling the opening bars and other material.
Instrumentation: 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B flat, 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in B flat, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, percussion (1 player), strings.
Duration: 11 min.
Dedication note: Dedicated to the memory of Derek Francis Lee Ward
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