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St Kilda : Scenes from Far and Near

by David Keeffe (2019)

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The Australian Music Centre's catalogue does not include any recordings or sheet music of this work. This entry is for information purposes only.

It is listed in our catalogue because an event featuring a performance of this work was included in our calendar of Australian music. Details of this performance are listed below.

Work Overview

St Kilda, commissioned by the Maroondah Symphony Orchestra, portrays the contrast between two strikingly different places sharing a name, taking the listener on a journey from lonely islands to the energy of the city suburb. You might think of it as a modern reimagining of the scenes that inspired Felix Mendelssohn to compose The Hebrides which the orchestra presented in its first concert of the 2019 season.

The work opens quietly, suggesting wind and waves, and the steady effort of a lone rower. A plaintive bassoon solo highlights this loneliness. Eventually the journey ends and we hear a verse of an actual St Kilda folk song "Hiron Dail A Horo Hi" - also known as the "St Kilda Bird Song" - with its chirrups and tweets.

This "sea journey" music gradually transforms into a melodious tango: it was the tango that engaged (and enraged) onlookers when the Palais de Danse opened in our St Kilda in 1913. The dance gives way to a visit to Luna Park, and a ride on the Scenic Railway (but with a brief flashback to the lonely islands) brings the work to a close.

Work Details

Year: 2019

Duration: 10 min.

Difficulty: Medium — suitable for advanced community groups or similar

Commission note: Commissioned by Maroondah Symphony Orchestra.. Commissioned by the Maroondah Symphony Orchestra for its 2019 season.

First performance: by Maroondah Symphony Orchestra, Willem van der Vis at Something Old, Something New (George Wood Performing Arts Centre) on 15 Sep 2019

Performances of this work

13 Aug 23: James Tatoulis Auditorium, Methodist Ladies' College, Melbourne

15 Sep 2019: at Something Old, Something New (George Wood Performing Arts Centre). Featuring Maroondah Symphony Orchestra, Willem van der Vis.

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