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Sheet Music: Score

Nocturnalia : for orchestra / John Peterson.

by John Peterson (2001)

  • Purchase Price: $61.59 (Usually ships in 2-5 business days) — Add to Cart
  • Library Availability: Q 784.2/PET 4 — Available for loan
  • Instrumentation: 2 flutes (2nd doubling piccolo), 2 oboes, clarinet in B flat, bass clarinet, bassoon, contra-bassoon, 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in C, 2 tenor trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion, harp, strings.
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  • Audio Sample

    Performance by West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Kevin Field from the CD 2001 Australian Composers' Orchestral Forum.


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Nocturnalia takes its name from the concept of a 'saturnalia', and thus celebrates, in a dance-like orgy of rhythmic energy, all things nocturnal. Traditionally, the night symbolises the period of gestation, or germination, which will burst out into life in broad daylight. It is endowed with every potentiality of being, but to go into the night is to return to a state of indeterminacy and intermingle with nightmares, monsters and 'black thoughts'. Night is the image of the unconscious and, in the darkness of sleep, the unconscious is set free. Like all symbols, the night displays a twofold aspect - that of the shadowy world of the brooding future, and that of the prelude to daylight when the light of life will shine forth.

"Earth, O Earth return!
Arise from out the dewy grass,
Night is worn
And the morn
Rises from the slumberous mass."
from 'Songs of Experience' by William Blake

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 facsimile score (44p. -- A3 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced

Duration: 5 mins, 30 sec.

Commission info: Composed as part of the 2001 Australian Composers' Orchestral Forum.

Includes programme note.

Typeset edition.

Related products

This work is also available in the following products:

2001 Australian Composers' Orchestral Forum.
CD: 2001 Australian Composers' Orchestral Forum.

Parts: Nocturnalia : for orchestra / John Peterson.


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