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Against the Dying of the Light : for solo flute and chamber orchestra

by Nicholas Vines (2001)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

From the CD Selected works, volume 1

Selected works, volume 1


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


Selected works, volume 1 / Nicholas Vines.

Library shelf no. CD 1835 [Available for loan]

Against the Dying of the Light


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Against the Dying of the Light : for solo flute and chamber orchestra / Nicholas Vines.

Library shelf no. Q 784.32832/VIN 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Against the Dying of the Light is above all things a tribute to the late Professor Sir Peter Platt. Prof Platt was a musicologist, composer, conductor and performer who had an enormous impact on the musical life of the University of Sydney, to say nothing of his national and international contributions. Both the form and content of this work reflect the tragic circumstances surrounding his death. The first movement is concerned with his own immense sense of frustration at leaving a life he felt was still wholly incomplete. The flute solo is often at loggerheads with the inevitable rigidity of the structure, a conflict which the orchestra emphatically and consistently addresses, much in the style of a Greek chorus. The second movement, an extended cadenza for the flute, is a transition from the deeply private, internal world of the opening to the more public, conventional expression of grief that is the third movement. Here, the style is at once removed- through its ritualistic temporality- and immediate- in its engaging, transparent rhetoric. This is in effect a memorial service for both Prof Platt and the department to which he devoted so much love and energy.

Work Details

Year: 2001

Instrumentation: Solo flute, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B flat, 2 bassoons, 2 horns in F, trumpet in B flat, tenor trombone, piano, strings.

Duration: 20 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Tertiary student

Contents note: I. Allegretto: With Self-Contained Drive -- II. Cadenza: Emphatic, Not Too Rushed -- III. As if a Processional: Always Maintaining the Metric Division of the Bar.

Dedication note: Dedicated to Peter Platt. In Memoriam Professor Sir Peter Platt

Commission note: Commissioned by Megan Hobbs.

First performance: by Megan Hobbs, Sydney University Symphony Orchestra, Colin Piper — 31 Oct 01. Great Hall, University of Sydney

The composer notes:
Against the dying of the light
is influenced by Dylan Thomas's Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night and uses source material from Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto.


Program note: Nicholas Vines' "Against the dying of the light"
by Nicholas Vines


Performances of this work

31 Oct 01: Great Hall, University of Sydney. Featuring Megan Hobbs, Sydney University Symphony Orchestra, Colin Piper.

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