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Arafura dances

Sheet Music: Score

Arafura dances : concerto for guitar and strings / Ross Edwards.

Also known as: Concerto for guitar and string orchestra

by Ross Edwards (1995)

  • Purchase Price: $53.14 (Usually ships in 2-5 business days) — Add to Cart
  • Library Availability: Q 784.72787/EDW 1 — Available for loan
  • Instrumentation: Guitar, string orchestra.
  • Digital Library -- View full score online

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  • Audio Sample

    Performance by Karin Schaupp, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Richard Mills from the CD White ghost dancing


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Arafura Dances is in three movements: a lyrical and expressive adagio framed by two pulsating maninyas (Australian dance/chants) in which references to a variety of Australasian and Pacific musical cultures are woven into a fabric of insect rhythms and drones. Edwards, clearly under the spell of Darwin and coastal Arnhem Land as he composed, refers to the turquoise Arafura Sea as a constant backdrop. Other influences include flora and fauna of the region and the colourful Macassan sailing boats in Darwin's Maritime Museum. Edwards also mentions Ian Morris's photograph "of a gloriously flowering Red Bud Mallee against a deep blue sky", an image he likes to think is "somehow inlaid in the music".

Originally composed as a Guitar Concerto for John Williams, who gave the first performance with the Darwin Symphony in 1995, Ross Edwards arranged the work for string quartet especially for performance at the 2006 Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, where it was performed for the first time by Marshall McGuire (who also transcribed the guitar part for harp) and the Goldner String Quartet.

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 facsimile score (43p. -- B4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced — Professional.

Duration: 18 mins

Contents note:

I. First Maninya -- II. Arafura Arioso -- III. Second Maninya.

Dedicated to John Williams

Commissioned by Darwin International Guitar Festival with funds provided by Australia Council.

First performance by John Williams, Darwin Symphony Orchestra, Martin Jarvis — 7 Jul 95. The lawns of the Darwin Casino.

Includes programme note.

Winner of the Orchestral Work of the Year Award in the 2005 APRA-Australian Music Centre Classical Music Awards.

Typeset edition.

This edition produced 2013.

ISMN: 979-0-720135-74-8

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