Irkanda I


by Peter Sculthorpe

solo violin
First Performance
30.6.1955, British Music Society Rooms, Melbourne: Wilfred Lehmann

Playing score 0-571-50524-4 (fp) on sale

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Programme Notes
Peter Sculthorpe Irkanda I for violin alone (1955) ‘Irkanda’ is an Australian Aboriginal word meaning a remote and lonely place, and this work is the first of a series of four pieces bearing this title. Irkanda I is in one movement, and in it, long, melodic lines and bird-sounds are contrasted with brittle, rhythmic sections. The opening melody follows three hundred and sixty degree contour of the hills around Canberra, where most of the work was written. It might be added that my use of bird-song stems from suggestions in the writing of the Australian composer and music critic, Henry Tate (1873 – 1926). Peter Sculthorpe

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'Irkanda I' reviews

‘To hear a work for the first time and to be immediately convinced of its outstanding qualities is an astonishing sensation. There was initially the revelation of simplicity combined with powerful atmosphere; Irkanda I is a completely Australian work; the undisturbed, primeval land is like a silent presence summoned by the music, which is free of all sophisticated influences. The composer has shut himself off from tonality and there is a wordless searching as if language had not yet been inven Read more

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