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Symphonic Poem: Ritual Dance of the Unappeasable Shadow is a single movement work based on material from the opera At the Hawk's Well. In some cases there has been extensive reworking, affecting also its construction which follows an arch form with a lively opening and closing.
Symphonic Poem was given a workshop reading by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Sir William Southgate in 1994. This event was recorded by Radio New Zealand's Concert FM. It was also performed by the New Zealand Secondary School's Symphony Orchestra in 1995 as part of its Auckland Course.
Peter Adams wrote of the work in a review for the Otago Daily Times (August 1, 1994): "Nigel Keay's Ritual Dance of the Unappeasable Shadow made a powerful impact on first hearing; the dark core of the work had a brooding intensity while the flanking outer sections were vital and colourful with their Indonesian gamelan-inspired sound world."
Commissioned by the Dunedin Sinfonia (now called the Southern Sinfonia) in 1993
Performed by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra conducted b Sir William Southgate
Performed by the New Zealand Secondary School's Symphony Orchestra in 1995 as part of its Auckland Course