orchestra, with optional didjeridu
Full Orchestra, Solo Instrument(s) with Orchestra
2.2.ca.2.2.cbsn – 4431 – timp – perc(3): tam-t/beijing gong/susp.cym/cyms/BD/bongos/3 tom-t/2 congas – strings

Commissioned by Emanuel Papper as a present for his wife upon herbirthday

First Performance
24.7.1988, Aspen Festival, Music Tent, Aspen: Aspen Festival Orchestra/Jorge Mester

Score 0-571-51274-7 on sale, parts for hire

Programme Notes
Kakadu Kakadu was commissioned by Emanuel Papper as a present for his wife upon her birthday. Since the Beethoven Variations of the same name, it is well-known that kakadu is the German word for cockatoo. Certainly there are cockatoos in my music, as well as many other kinds of birds. The work, however, takes its name from the Kakadu National Park in northern Australia. This enormous wilderness area stretches from coastal tidal plains to rugged mountain plateaux, and in it may be found the living culture of its Aboriginal inhabitants, dating back for fifty thousand years. Sadly, today there are only a few remaining speakers of kakadu or gagadju. The work, then, is concerned with my feelings about this place, its landscape, its change of seasons, its dry season and its wet, its cycle of life and death. In three parts, the outer sections are dance-like and energetic, sharing similar musical ideas. The central section is somewhat introspective, and is dominated by a cor anglais solo representing the voice of Emanuel Papper, who commissioned the work. Apart from this solo, the melodic material in Kakadu, as in much of my recent music, was suggested by the contours and rhythms of Aboriginal chant. Peter Sculthorpe

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News & Reviews

'Kakadu' reviews

‘Kakadu is essentially a big, romantic piece stated in 20th-century terms. I suspect it will turn up regularly as orchestras look for music that is out of the ordinary yet acceptable to their listeners.' The Denver Post (USA) (Glenn Giffin), 28 July 1988 Read more

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