Tropic : for orchestra : for orchestra
by Peter Sculthorpe (2008)
Score SampleView a sample of the score of this work
Tropic takes its name from a work that I wrote for
chamber ensemble in 1992. Both were inspired by the landscapes of
Australia's so-called Top End. The present work, having been
written for the Queensland Youth Orchestra, was inspired by
places around Cape York, in Queensland's far north. It consists
of one movement, made up of four inter-related sections: 'A
Mission Hymn', 'Reef Singing', 'Dua Chant' and 'A
'A Mission Hymn' is an idealized version of the kind of music that missionaries introduced to the area in the nineteenth century. Before its concluding Amen, there is an episode of bird-song, flights of birds being an important part of the local Indigenous culture. Sounds of birds, especially seagulls, are also heard elsewhere in the work.
The second section, 'Reef Singing', is based upon a melody that I used in the chamber work of 1992. Upon its repeat a counter-point is added, recalling the downward-turning intervals of 'A Mission Hymn'. The whole section suggests the carefree music of the tropical islands of Torres Strait. It leads into 'Dua Chant', one of my favourite Indigenous melodies.
'A Celebration' opens with a fully-scored version of music stated in the second section, building to the climax of the work. It celebrates the Australian Federal Government's apology to Indigenous peoples in February 2008. With past wrongs finally acknowledged, Australia is now at the beginning of true nationhood. This is the underlying theme of the work.
Instrumentation: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B flat, 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 3 trumpets in C, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (2 players), strings.
Duration: 10 min.
Contents note: I. A mission hymn -- II. Reef dreaming -- III. Dua chant -- IV. A celebration.
Dedication note: Dedicated to John Curro
Written for: Queensland Youth Orchestra
Performances of this work
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