by Peter Sculthorpe

unaccompanied SATB chorus
Mixed Voices
First Performance
1.8.2003, Dartington International Summer School, Devon, UK: Summer School Choir/Scott Stroman

Score 0-571-53136-9 on sale

Programme Notes
Lullaby is based upon one of a number of indigenous Australian melodies collected by Dr. H. C. Lethbridge in the Maranoa district, Queensland, in the 1930s. It was published in Melbourne by Allan and Co. in 1937, with a piano accompaniment by Arthur S. Loam. I have always had a special fondness for this melody and in 1996 I made an arrangement of the Loam setting especially for the Brodsky Quartet and Anne Sofie von Otter. The present arrangement for mixed chorus is in my own idiom, with additional material.
This work is a lullaby for children victimized by war. It opens with several statements of the indigenous melody, the words lovingly entreating children to embrace sleep, as night falls. This is followed by a short central section that questions the need for war, its text taken from another song in the Lethbridge collection. The melody then returns, leading to a quiet coda, suggesting the calmness of sleep and, for many children, the beauteousness of paradise.

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