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From Oceania : full orchestra

by Peter Sculthorpe (2003)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

From the CD Orchestral works

Orchestral works


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Orchestral works / Peter Sculthorpe.

Library shelf no. CD 1434 [Available for loan]

From Oceania


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From Oceania : for orchestra / Peter Sculthorpe.

Library shelf no. 784.2/SCU 12 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

From Oceania is a re-working of part of my orchestral piece, Music for Japan (1970), commissioned by the National Music Camp Association for performance by the Australian Youth Orchestra at Expo '70, Osaka. With the title implying that the work was written as a gift to Japan from Australia, the music is concerned with Antipodean landscapes and seascapes. It is written in what is known as my 'Sun Music' style, and
is made up of rhythmic, textural and harmonic shapes, with few melodic contours.
In writing the present work, I was thinking of the volcanic nature of much of Oceania and, in the coda, of the mystery and magic of the region. It opens with the sound of a conch shell, followed by vigorous drumming patterns. These patterns are then repeated, with brass and strings added, propelling the music into a section in which the whole orchestra is treated in a somewhat percussive manner. This culminates in a low, sustained tone cluster, from which an 'E' major chord emerges, 'E' standing for 'Eternity'. It is followed by a quiet coda.

Work Details

Year: 2003

Instrumentation: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B flat, 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 4 trumpets in C, 2 tenor trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (3 players), strings.

Duration: 7 min.

Dedication note: Dedicated to Barry Conyngham

Written especially for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conducted by James Judd, for recording by Naxos in September 2003.


Performances of this work

13 Mar 14: BBC Maida Vale Studios, London, UK. Featuring BBC Symphony Orchestra, Nicholas Collon.

23 Jan 14: The Guildhall, Portsmouth, UK. Featuring Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Maxime Tortelier.

16 Jan 14: Colston Hall, Bristol, UK. Featuring Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Maxime Tortelier.

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