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From Saibai : for violin and piano

by Peter Sculthorpe (1992)

Score Sample

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Audio Sample

Performance by Clemens Leske, Marina Marsden from the CD Spirit dances

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Spirit dances


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Spirit dances / Marina Marsden, violin, and Clemens Leske, piano.

Library shelf no. CD 2048 [On loan, due 11/11/16]

From Saibai


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Score & Part

From Saibai : for violin and piano / Peter Sculthorpe

Library shelf no. 787.2/SCU 3 [Available for loan]

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Work Overview

From Saibai is a shortened version, arranged for cello and piano, of my clarinet and piano work Songs of Sea and Sky. This work was inspired by a traditional melody from Saibai, an island just south of Papua New Guinea, in Torres Strait. The melody was collected on Saibai by Jeremy Beckett in 1961.
Although some traditional Torres Strait music still survives in its original form, most of that heard today is strongly influenced by the religious music introduced by missionaries in the nineteenth century. Nevertheless, its themes are still predominantly of sea voyages, flights of birds and changes in sea and sky.
From Saibai is in one continuous movement consisting of four parts: an introductory cello solo; a reworking of the traditional melody, with additional material; a rhythmic section suggesting a Torres Strait island dance-song and based upon the opening solo; and a more impassioned statement of Saibai, followed by a short coda.

Work Details

Year: 1992

Instrumentation: Violin, piano.

Duration: 11 min.

Written for: Benjamin Breen

First performance: by Benjamin Breen, Elisaveta Blumina — 3 Apr 93. Dame Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre,Penrith NSW

Inspired by a traditional melody from Saibai island.


Performances of this work

12 Jul 11: St Anne & St Agnes, United Kingdom

12 Jul 2011: at Alexandra Soumm & Adam Laloum (St Anne & St Agnes).

3 Apr 93: Dame Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre,Penrith NSW. Featuring Benjamin Breen, Elisaveta Blumina.

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