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Country : a cantata in three phases for baritone, oboe and piano

by Don Kay (2015)



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Score & Part

Country : a cantata in three phases for baritone, oboe and piano / music by Don Kay, words by John Honey.

Library shelf no. 783.88548/KAY 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

The idea for this work originated from a suggestion by Simon Barber to John Honey in early 2015, i.e. to write a text conveying significant aspects of Tasmanian experience suitable for expression through music. When John gave me a copy of Country, which was to become the third and final phase of the work, I immediately identified with the sentiments contained - sentiments shared, I imagine, by many Tasmanians descended from early settlers. The dark boy followed soon after I indicated my desire to set Country. Finally, Voices from the Black War, 1824-1831, was added to complete our 'cantata in three phases'. The word 'phase' is used to suggest a chronological sequence of attitudes and thoughts from early colonial times to the present day. We acknowledge Nicholas Clement's book, The Black War (V. Q. P., 2014) as the source of the Voices quotes. Some minor cuts have been made to enhance the metre, without affecting the meaning of the text.

In Voices from the Black War, 1824-1831, the aim is for the singer to intone each single quote (with the exception of George Augustus Robinson) representing European settlers, military or press articles, in expressionless solemnity, contrasted only by each having its own monotone pitch. Representative Aboriginal voices, by contrast, are to be sung with appropriate animation suitable to the circumstance.

Work Details

Year: 2015

Instrumentation: Baritone voice, oboe, piano.

Duration: 20 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Contents note: 1. Voices from the Black War, 1824 - 1831 -- 2. The dark boy -- 3. Country.


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