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Two Australian War Poems : SATB (with divisions) and piano

by John Nottle (, this version: 2017)

Two Australian War Poems


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Two Australian War Poems : SATB (with divisions) and piano / John Nottle.

Library shelf no. 782.5542/NOT 2 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Both 'Beach Burial' (Kenneth Slessor) and 'The Trains' (Judith Wright) were written at the height of World War II. 'Beach Burial concerns events in the Middle East whilst 'The Trains' is set within Australia. The choral writing for both poems is homophonic and generally tonal, lying within the traditional vocal range of choirs. The first poem in the set, Beach Burial is slow and cortege-like, whereas The Trains is faster and employs motor rhythms in the outer verses. The inner 2nd verse requires a lyrical flexibility in tempo and the marking 'liberamente' must be observed.

Work Details

Year: , this version: 2017

Instrumentation: SATB choir (with divisions), piano.

Duration: 9 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Accomplished piano accompanist required

Contents note: Beach Burial -- The Trains.

'Beach Burial' composed 2015. 'The Trains' composed 2017.

Two Australian War Poems explore modality, within a tonal context. The hexachord, six note scale, is employed in 'Beach Burial' and sets the mood for the poem. 'The Trains' occasionally utilises the octatonic and whole note scales. It begins and ends with dynamic Stravinskian motor rhythms and sonorities in the piano.


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