Your cart

Total
NZD
Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.

Blue Work


Drysdale Overture

for orchestra

Year:  1937   ·  Duration:  10m
Instrumentation:  2222; 3230; timp, perc; strs.

Year:  1937
Duration:  10m
Instrumentation  2222; 3230; timp, perc; strs.

Composer:   Douglas Lilburn

Films, Audio & Samples

Douglas Lilburn: Drysdale O...

Embedded audio
See details ➔
Sample Audio

Sample: 0:00-1:00

See details ➔

Borrow/Hire:

To borrow or hire parts please email SOUNZ directly at info@sounz.org.nz. Please note that only library members in New Zealand and Australia can borrow or hire parts.

About

When I arrived at the Royal College of Music in London, in September 1937, and was accepted as a student by Vaughan Williams, he put me through routine disciplines of writing fugues and part-songs, and then one day said: "Isn't it time you composed something?"

I accepted the challenge and produced by Drysdale Overture, with its nostalgic memories in a musical language which rather disconcerted him. Still more did it upset Sir George Dyson, who brilliantly realised my rough orchestral score on the piano and then said: "Don't bring me another manuscript like that." He did, however, give it a reading rehearsal with the RCM first orchestra, and I took steps to improve my musical handwriting.

In those far-off heady days, Hans Keller's "functional analysis" had hardly impacted on the RCM – we students ignorantly and derisively called it "sweet FA". And so I may hardly provide an "analytical synopsis".

With my meagre knowledge of classical forms, I thought that proper overtures should have a solemn introduction, with motifs recalled later in various structural guises, and that they should have a contrasting "second object" – hence my nostalgic oboe tune, with fitting Scottish inflections. Curiously, what might have been a routine "development" turned into a sunlit rondo, nostalgic of childhood happiness.

I'm left with that lovely Mark Twain image of Jim and Huckleberry drifting on their barge down that great river, looking up at the stars and wondering "whether they was made, or only just happened".

Douglas Lilburn 14 October 1994


Dedication note

For my Father, Robert Lilburn, and those others who made Drysdale


Performance history

23 Nov 1940: Performed by the NZ National Broadcasting Service String Orchestra and the 2YA Concert Orchestra conducted by Anderson Tyrer in a live national broadcast on 2YA.

03 Jun 1993: Performed by the Auckland Philharmonia, conducted by Enrique Diemecke

23 Jul 2001: Performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kenneth Young

16 Feb 2002: Performed by the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Sewell, in Wichita, Kansas, USA.

10 Nov 2002: Performed by the Wellington Youth Sinfonietta conducted by Michael Vinten

14 Nov 2004: Performed by the Wellington Youth Sinfonietta conducted by Michael Vinten at St. Andrews on The Terrace in Wellington

29 Mar 2007: National Colours

14 Jul 2007: Four Hills and a Lilburn

26 Sep 2009: North and South

27 Aug 2011: Pastoral - Manukau Symphony Orchestra

24 Mar 2012: Southern Sinfonia: Romantic Grandeur

05 Sep 2013: APO - My Country

04 Jun 2014: Rural Romance - NZSM Orchestral Concert

26 Jul 2015: Manawatu Sinfonia | Lilburn and Elgar

26 Sep 2015: Dunedin Youth Orchestra | These Lands Are Ours

Performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Judd

Performed by the NZSO conducted by John Hopkins

Performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Hopkins in 1987

Performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir William Southgate

+ Read More