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08' 00"
(1)2222; 4231; timp., perc. (3); organ (2-3 manuals and pedals); strings Percussion: bass drum, side drum, suspended cymbal, crash cymbals, xylophone, slapstick, tam tam)


application/pdf,976k Score (976k) Page 1-8© Anthony Ritchie

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Performed by Donald Nicholson (organ), New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Hamish McKeich (conductor) on 13 September 2007

Programme Note

‘Organ Overture’ was commissioned by the Southern Sinfonia to celebrate the orchestra’s 40th anniversary. It was written and funded as part of the composer’s work at the University of Otago. It features a prominent part for concert organ, and is also partly a tribute to ‘Norma’, the Dunedin Town Hall organ. Orchestras often bring together many threads of a musical community, and are a vital part of the culture in New Zealand cities. The diversity of instruments and musicians on display in an orchestra are a great source of inspiration for composers and music-followers alike. In this overture I give thanks to the Sinfonia, and wish it a long and happy future. Elements of southern weather find their way into the music. The piece opens stormily, with jagged lightning and rumbling thunder. A vigorous theme emerges and leads to a gusty, pulsating passage. As this calms a little, a drum rhythm appears. Following a flowing melody on strings, accompanied by the organ, the percussion rhythm battles with rest of the orchestra. This leads to a fugue on the woodwinds, based on the opening melody. The organ then takes over with a brief cadenza, leading to a rhythmic coda in which the main themes are summarised.

Commissioned by the Southern Sinfonia of Dunedin, to celebrate the orchestra's 40th anniversary.
Dedicated to the Southern Sinfonia

Performance History

World Premiere for P: Organ Overture; Southern Sinfonia 090906 09 Sep 2006 Performed by the Southern Sinfonia at the Dunedin Town Hall, in Dunedin
Southern Sinfonia
13 Sep 2007 Performed by Donald Nicolson (organ) and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Hamish McKeich, as part of the NZSO-SOUNZ Readings 2007
Donald Nicolson    Hamish McKeich    New Zealand Symphony Orchestra



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