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The domestic sublime : song-cycle for soprano and piano

by Katy Abbott (2011)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Greta Bradman, Leigh Harrold from the CD domestic sublime

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domestic sublime


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The domestic sublime : the vocal music of Katy Abbott.

Library shelf no. CD 2510 [Available for loan]

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Work Overview

Shaving, coat-hangers and changing sheets; all part of the repetitive, yet comforting domestic rituals familiar to everyone's day yet so entrenched and considered so unremarkable, they are rarely acknowledged in conversation. It may seem odd to compose a work on such subjects, but the poinancy of the text shines strongly and the subject matter strikes a chord with many. Why not spend a few minutes acknowledging these mundane, yet essential day-to-day activities, common to all of us, and perhaps even ponder any deeper significance?

Work Details

Year: 2011

Instrumentation: Soprano, piano.  

Duration: 25 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

First performance: by Rowena Cowley, David Miller — 19 Mar 12.

This work is in two parts. Part I was co-commissioned by Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Ars Musica Australis for Dr Rowena Cowley and David Miller. The commission was part of the Sydney Conservatorium 101 Commissions which celebrate the centenary of the institution. Part II was composed for Greta Bradman (soprano) and Leigh Harrold (piano) and was recorded by them in 2012.

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for/to
2013 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Vocal/Choral Finalist Katy Abbott


Resonate article: Asian Composers League Festival 2013 - Australian works by Australian Music Centre


Performances of this work

21 Sep 2014: at Bellingen Music Festival 2014 (Bellingen Memorial Hall). Featuring Alison Morgan, Josephine Allan.

19 May 13: Encounters Festival, Conservatorium Theatre, Griffith University, SouthBank, Brisbane.. Featuring Greta Bradman, Leigh Harrold.

2 Jun 12: Sydney Grammar School. Featuring Halcyon.

19 Mar 12: featuring David Miller, Rowena Cowley.

User reviews

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My favourite Australian art song repertoire

Posted by Australian Music Centre on 15 July, 2013

The AMC asked leading practitioners to select their favourite Australian art song repertoire, to provide delegates to the 2013 International Conference of Vocal Teachers (Brisbane 2013) with an introduction to this rich and diverse landscape.
Stylistically flexible, good use of poetic possibilities, well contrasted songs with good pianistic writing. Advanced musical and technical challenges.
Rowena Cowley