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Kelly ground (solo piano)

by David Lumsdaine (1966)

Audio Sample

Performance by Mark Knoop from the CD Complete music for solo piano

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Complete music for solo piano


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Complete music for solo piano / David Lumsdaine ; Mark Knoop, piano.

Library shelf no. CD 1949 [Available for loan]

Kelly ground

Out of Print

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


Kelly ground : piano solo / David Lumsdaine.

Library shelf no. 786.2/LUM 1 [Available for loan]

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Work Overview

Kelly Ground is one of Lumsdaine's earliest acknowledged pieces, composed when he was in his mid 30s. Written for solo piano, its title refers to one of Australia's most famous historical figures, Ned Kelly, a bushranger whose defiance towards the colonial authorities eventually resulted in his dramatic capture and execution.

As an abstract composition, Kelly Ground can be divided into two cycles the first of which comprises five strophes. The two cycles are radically different: the writing in the first is dense, lively, and virtuosic; the second is still and contemplative. The composition is formed from the pitch material of cyclic matrices (confirming the allusion in the title to the cyclic bass on which a melody is composed), which in the first cycle is employed linearly, row by row. The chords of the second cycle, on the other hand, are formed from the columns of the same matrix.

By drawing critically on different musical traditions, Lumsdaine is able to create a space within which the social conventions that surround both music, and the legend of Kelly, can be contemplated.

— Michael Hooper

Work Details

Year: 1966

Instrumentation: Piano.

Duration: 25 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

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