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Mandala 5 : full orchestra

by David Lumsdaine (1988)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

From the CD Hagoromo and other orchestral works

Hagoromo and other orchestral works

Out of Print

This item is out-of-print. We regret that it cannot be purchased from the Australian Music Centre.


Hagoromo and other orchestral works / David Lumsdaine.

Library shelf no. CD 106 [Available for loan]

Mandala 5


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Mandala 5 : for large orchestra / David Lumsdaine

Library shelf no. Q 784.2/LUM 2 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Mandala 5 is a single movement, 23 minutes long. It begins as a mosaic of fragmentary images and textures. Some five minutes in, the textures coalesce into a dense chorale, the ground of the piece, which slowly moves forward/upward in time till at the close it articulates the foreground.

Growing out of the chorale, interrupting it and contrasting with it, is a vigorous dance which fuses with the chorale just before the coda. I couldn't say if this music is slow or fast - changes in tempo and texture are like changes in perspective. Sharp detail in the foreground grows out of, and returns to the slowly moving background.

The best pointer to Mandala 5 is the brief verse which was in my mind from the time I first heard it and which is quoted at the beginning of the score:
Rocks, roots embrace-
the angophora grows
out of the sandstone cliff.

Of all the trees I love, the angophora of vivid, ever-changing colours and anarchic shape has been closest to me as long as I can remember, and I can never see it in my mind's eye without feeling the texture of Hawkesbury sandstone, smelling boronia, hearing the calls of the spotted pardalote, currawong, magpies, grey butcherbirds, grey shrike-thrush, little wattle bird, noisy friar-bird, brown thornbill, the fantail cuckoo. Early spring, full moon, an hour before sunrise. This is the centre of my mandala.

Work Details

Year: 1988

Instrumentation: 3 flutes (3rd doubling piccolo), 3 oboes (3rd doubling cor anglais), 3 clarinets in B flat (3rd doubling clarinet in E flat), 3 bassoons (3rd doubling contrabassoon), 4 horns, 4 trumpets, 2 tenor trombones, bass trombone, tuba, percussion (4 players), harp, strings (

Duration: 23 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Dedication note: to Nicola

Commission note: Commissioned by Australian Broadcasting Corporation for performance by Sydney Symphony.

First performance: by Sydney Symphony, Stuart Challender — 24 May 89. Sydney Opera House


Performances of this work

24 May 89: Sydney Opera House. Featuring Sydney Symphony, Stuart Challender.

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