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Song of Sorrows : for solo flute and piano

by Kirsty Beilharz (2020)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

From the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 126.

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Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 126.


This item is not commercially available from the Australian Music Centre. We regret that we cannot offer it for sale.


Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 126.

Library shelf no. CD 3173 [Available for loan]

Display all products featuring this work (1 more)  

Work Overview

This composition was written during - and in response to - the 2020 global pandemic. Not self-indulgent lamenting on the inconvenient effects of isolation, economic downturn in first-world society, and the threat to livelihoods and health. Rather, this composition meditates particularly on the tragic injustice of the pandemic for marginalised peoples, which (in the case of some nations and communities) has resulted in avoidable loss, death, illness, cultural obscurity, and lasting devastation; for certain groups of people more than others. People often comment (in haste) that a global pandemic is 'a great leveller'; that it affects all people equally; that contagion is indiscriminate. But even a brief reflection will reveal that it is marginalised, often voiceless, peoples who have been, and will continue to be, those most severely harmed: the elderly; people experiencing socio-economic disadvantage; people managing chronic physical conditions; people who are vulnerable due to mental health; Indigenous first-nations peoples; people with inadequate access to hygiene resources; or ethnically vulnerable groups. The tragedy lies in the disease itself. But more shamefully, unnecessary tragedy lies in the avoidable decisions made - the opportunity to have acted sooner, more compassionately and humanely in order to minimise consequences, and to provide wise instructions and fair distribution of resources (personal protection equipment, masks, civil isolation and travel restrictions, abundantly available testing, etc.) - rather than decisions motivated by capitalist greed.

This music is a deeply felt lament or eulogy for the lost and harmed, for the ethical sorrow of this event that will observed by generations to come. Musically, the evocation moves from the ponderous sorrowful, solitary voice to passionate and turbulent expression, covering a wide range of intensities and colours.

Work Details

Year: 2020

Instrumentation: Flute, piano.

Duration: 7 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Some extended techniques for the flutist: flutter-tongue, portamento, slap-tongue. Wide pitch and dynamic range. Some rapid phrases and controlled slow passages.

Dedication note: Dedicated to flutist, Molly Barth.


Performances of this work

24 Dec 20.

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