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Revolutionary fugue : SATB choir with organ

by Lawrence Whiffin (1974, this version: 2008)

AMU 124


This item is not commercially available from the Australian Music Centre. We regret that we cannot offer it for sale.


AMU 124 : works by various composers

Library shelf no. CD 2099 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

In the revised version, a single chord throughout forces the main interest onto other parameters. The main focus is on rhythmic counterpoint and the text consists only of different one-vowel syllables, each belonging to a particular group: sop, alto, ten or bass. The fugue subject is a rhythmic phrase recalling the motto sounded by car horns in Paris during the war in France and Algeria and the student riots in Paris 1968.

This fugue was first realised during the time I was employed as ‘sound effects man’ for Pathé Cinéma in Paris in 1974. Two tape recorders were used, one playing an unrelated choral piece dubbed onto the other. During the dubbing, new phrases resulted from “playing” the music rhythmically as the tape was lifted off and back on as it passed through the recording head. Other "voices" were then added creating contrapuntal imitations by the same method.

Work Details

Year: 1974, this version: 2008

Instrumentation: SATB choir, organ.

Duration: 7 min.

Difficulty: Intonation no problem but singers must have a fair rhythmic capability.

First performance: by Astra Choir, Kim Bastin, John McCaughey — 1 Jun 08. Lithuanian House North Melbourne


Performances of this work

5 Oct 2014: at Travel Kaleidoscope II (Church of All Nations). Featuring John McCaughey, Astra Choir.

22 Nov 2009: at Australian Chamber Choir (Our Lady of Mt Carmel). Featuring Australian Chamber Choir, Douglas Lawrence, Robin Batterham.

1 Jun 08: Lithuanian House North Melbourne. Featuring Astra Choir, Kim Bastin, John McCaughey.

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