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Weary Will the wombat : for TTBB choir and piano

by Barbara Durham (2015)

Work Overview

This is a 4 part "Australiana" choral work for men's choir with piano complementing and enhancing the words of the poem "Weary Will" by "Banjo" Paterson. The text provided many opportunities to convey humour through music. The rich deep low registers of both the piano and bass voices depict the strong rotund Will Wombat obstinately going on his way, digging a hole under the former's fence. Wombats dig huge burrows and once their mind is made up, will stop at nothing to get what they want.

The tenor voices offer an intense contrast, often dialoguing with the bass voices. Notable features include leaping kangaroos (bar 11), an extended "But wombats dig forever" section (bars 12-20) with added words by the composer. (please see poem attached with added words in brackets). This is followed by an animato then a piu animato section f of a very irritated wombat (bars 21-28), then the tenor parts are pp with the dingoes sneaking through the fence via the wombat's hole. The dingoes then howl with the tenors glissandi roughly in perfect fourths.

The time signature is mostly 12/8 with metric changes to mostly 18/8. Of note is the unusual 21/8 in bar 11. The notes in the 18/8 bars are unusually grouped into three dotted minims.

Work Details

Year: 2015

Instrumentation: TTBB choir, piano.

Duration: 6 min.

Difficulty: Medium — changing metre, wide variation in dynamics and small vocal tenor glissandi section

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