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Lament for Helen

Sheet Music: Score & Part(s)

Lament for Helen : for oboe, piano / Linda Kouvaras

by Linda Kouvaras (1999)

  • Purchase Price: $29.95* — Purchase through ReedMusic.com
    * Purchases of this item will be completed through the ReedMusic website. GST of 10% will be added during the checkout process for Australian residents.
  • Library Availability: This item is not available from the Australian Music Centre Library
  • Instrumentation: Oboe, piano.



Product details

This piece is an arrangement of the third movement from my Bundanon Suite for Piano (1999), written while I was Artist in Residence at Bundanon, the Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Estate bequeathed to the nation, on the Shoalhaven River, NSW. In accordance with the stipulations of the Bundanon Artist in Residence programme, the Suite is a response to my experience of the site. Bundanon could be described as a sanctuary for artists. Its magnitude, variety and isolation stimulate creativity. The Suite comprises 6 pieces, all dealing with the idea of the haven of nature for urban dwellers.

The Suite is structured so that "nature" (represented in purest form in pieces 1 & 6) flanks the "human" component (depicted most strongly in no. 3) of the pieces, with numbers 2, 4 and 5 encompassing both human and non-human subjects. In this way, nature is seen to affect and ultimately absorb the humans who interact with it.

"Lament for Helen", the most programmatic work in the collection, is a response to an account of a tragic event in 1922. Helen, aged 11, and her father were visiting relatives at Bundanon. Whilst crossing the Shoalhaven river on the way to a pony competition they both drowned when their mounts inexplicably got into difficulties - the river was calm, the father a good swimmer. The music contains a song-like musical essay about Helen's imagined character; it then depicts the drowning in tumultuous arpeggios, the hands in contrary motion; and the last section is the lament proper. This is written predominantly in a high register to denote Helen's youth. Underpinned by the traditional funeral march dotted rhythm, and the D Minor setting (many famous Requiems are set in this key), the high register calls into question the pomp and rather impersonal, patriarchal/masculine associations that this rhythm and funeral dirges generally denote. Re-cast in the subdominant, Helen's "signature tune" returns at the end: her spirit endures.

Published by: Reed Music [RM926]

Difficulty: Medium

Duration: 4 min.

The composer notes the following about the work: Ballad style, postmodern, neo-Impressionist, tonal

Typeset edition.

ISMN: 979-0-720119-22-9

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This work also exists as the following versions:
- Flute with piano


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