My Country Childhood


by Peter Sculthorpe

string orchestra
String Orchestra
First Performance
23.9.1999, Adelaide, Australia: Adelaide Symphony Orchestra/Marco Zuccarini

Score 0-571-53104-0 on sale, parts for hire

Programme Notes
Peter Sculthorpe MY COUNTRY CHILDHOOD for string orchestra Early in 1999, I finished my autobiography, Sun Music. The first chapter is called ‘My Country Childhood.’ It was perhaps inevitable that I should write music about this, about fond memories of growing up in a small village in Tasmania. I have not written an orchestral piece concerning rural Australia since Small Town (1963). In My Country Childhood, I revisit such a place. The work is in four song-like movements: 1. From the Hills 2. A Village Funeral 3. A Church Gathering 4. From the River Each of these short movements, like Small Town, is built upon a ground bass. The movements are motivically related, with the melodic material characterized by wide, yearning intervals. The subsidiary melody in the first movement, which becomes the main melody in the fourth, was actually written in my early teens. I also derived the elegiac lines of ‘A Village Funeral’ from it. I might mention, that in the third movement, there is a suggestion of the accompaniment used by Bach in the chorale, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. Having been commissioned for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, my work also pays homage to early Lutheran settlement in South Australia. My Country Childhood was commissioned by Symphony Australia, with the assistance of the Commonwealth Government through the Arts Funding and Advisory Body of the Australia Council. It was written for first performance by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Marco Zuccarini, on 23 September, 1999. Duration: c. 14’ 30’’ Peter Sculthorpe

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News & Reviews

'My Country Childhood' reviews

‘… its rich sonorities are cunningly deployed for the medium, solo lines emerging from wide-spaced chords in a score full of subtle touches – will no doubt be seized upon by string ensembles as a welcome addition to the repertoire.’ The Australian (Australia) (Tristram Cary), 1 October 1999 Read more

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