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Big decisions : the Whitlam Dismissal, for wind quartet with recorded speech

by Robert Davidson (2001)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Topology from the CD Big decisions

Big decisions


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Big decisions / Topology

Library shelf no. CD 2016 [Not for loan]

Work Overview

In 1975, it was Time. Gough Whitlam headed the first Labour government in 23 years. Australia's most dramatic political moment happened only three years later, when the Governor General dismissed the government. Big Decisions looks back to Remembrance Day 1975 with music that frames broadcasts of that day. The music emphases the inherent melody in recorded voices of Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Fraser, Sir John Kerr and a supporting cast of Paul Keating, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Sir Charles Court and others.

Work Details

Year: 2001

Instrumentation: Oboe, clarinet in Bb/A, horn in F, bassoon, audio (played on CD, computer or substitute).

Duration: 17 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Some details are difficult - playing speech melodies is a complex task

Contents note: The Dismissal -- Kerr's Cur -- Lopping Heads -- Men That We Can Trust -- Remembrance Day -- Fair Play.

Commission note: Commissioned by Southern Cross Soloists.

First performance: Jul 01. Queensland Conservatorium Theatre, Southern Cross Soloists

Speech-melody music, Cathy Lane, David Chopin, Frank Zappa, Glenn Gould, Henry Hey, Hermeto Pascoal, Jacob Ter Veldhuis, Jamie Clark, Jason Moran, Jocelyn Pook, Jon Dimond, Luciano Berio, Mark Minnemann, Michael Daugherty, Michael Vincent, Pamela Z, Paul de Marinis, Paul Lansky, Peter Ablinger, Red Symons, René Lussier, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Scott Johnson, Sherre Delys, Steve Reich, Steve Vai, Sursiks, Trevor Wishart, Victor Woote.

Performances of this work

28 Oct 2016: at The Singing Politician (Cairns Choral Society Hall). Featuring Topology.

27 Oct 2016: at The Singing Politician (Tully State High School Multipurpose Hall). Featuring Topology.

21 Oct 2016: at The Singing Politician (St Mary's Catholic College Hall (Kingaroy)). Featuring Topology.

20 Oct 2016: at The Singing Politician (The J (Noosa)). Featuring Topology.

10 Oct 2015: at Big Decisions (Sir John Clancy Auditorium). Featuring Australia Ensemble.

21 Oct 2009: at Corridors of Power (Chapel off Chapel). Featuring Topology.

3 Sep 2009: at Corridors of Power (Newcastle Conservatorium Concert Hall). Featuring Topology.

29 Aug 2009: at Corridors of Power (Byron Bay Community and Cultural Centre).

20 Aug 2009: at Corridors of Power (The Sound Lounge). Featuring Topology.

16 Aug 2009: at Corridors of Power (Riverway Arts Centre). Featuring Topology.

8 Mar 2009: at Corridors of Power: Cheating, Lying, Stealing (Visy Theatre). Featuring Topology.

Jul 01: Queensland Conservatorium Theatre, Southern Cross Soloists

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