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The Blue gum forest (satb choir with solo bass)

by Matthew Orlovich (2009)

Blue gum forest


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The Blue gum forest : for a cappella SATB choir and bass baritone soloist / Matthew Orlovich

Library shelf no. 782.5554/ORL 5 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

The Blue Gum Forest is a setting of Roland Robinson's poem of the same name.

The work comprises four sections. The opening, broad style of music is intended to convey a sense of the 'out-of-doors'. The choir eludes to the poet's ever-questioning nature, singing 'Why do I stand here, stare about me?' The bass baritone describes how the poet clung, clambered and crashed his way down sheer gorge's walls to find the forest.

Emerging from forest birdsong, the second section presents a rhythmic and melodious music. The choir sings of the naked smooth blue gums whose limbs overarch and, "lost in height, mingle in myriad tongues".

In the third section of the work, the choir and soloist tread slowly beneath the trees, 'long desiring', 'long-looking' at the lichens, moss and ochre-red fungi, before sinking into pungent mould.

The calls of Laughing Kookaburras herald the final section of the work in which the choir and soloist sing of the blue-grey pipes 'soaring to their arches that lull, linger, leave off, then swell, hail, all hail in hosannas, in hosannas.'

Work Details

Year: 2009

Instrumentation: Unaccompanied SATB choir with bass baritone soloist.

Duration: 20 min.

Difficulty: Medium

Commission note: Commissioned by Australian Intervarsity Choral Festival.. Commissioned for performance at the 60th Australian Intervarsity Choral Festival in Hobart

First performance: by June Tyzack, Christopher Richardson at Intervarsity Choral Festival Gala (Stanley Burbury Theatre) on 17 Jul 2009


Review: Choir celebrates with real gems
by Elizabeth Ruthven

Resonate article: On song: a discussion of selected recent works for a cappella choir by Matthew Orlovich by Matthew Orlovich

Resonate article: Intervarsity Choral Festival celebrates with premieres by Australian Music Centre


Performances of this work

17 Jul 2009: at Intervarsity Choral Festival Gala (Stanley Burbury Theatre). Featuring June Tyzack, Christopher Richardson.

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