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for orchestra

Year:  2020   ·  Duration:  6m
Instrumentation:  2222 / 2221 / timp / str

Year:  2020
Duration:  6m
Instrumentation  2222 / 2221 / timp / str

David Hamilton

Composer:   David Hamilton

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: pages 1–5 of score

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The pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) is often known as New Zealand's Christmas tree. It normally produces its bright crimson flowers around Christmas time, mostly in the upper half of the North Island.

This piece began with the idea of a piece expressing the exuberance of the burst of colour that the tree exhibits at flowering. The piece originally started with a slow opening leading into faster music. During the process of composing Pohutukawa the faster music was dropped and the first few bars of the slow opening expanded into a piece that suggests the feelings of warmth and love New Zealanders have for this special tree.

Pohutukawa was written for the Leys Orchestra and conductor David Britten. I had conducted this community orchestra from 1979-1981, and I was pleased to discover that it was still very active and had expanded into a much larger group under its current conductor.

Dedication note

for the Leys Orchestra and conductor David Britten