Auróra Musis Amíca

Music of Sally Greenaway
Commissioned by Canberra Grammar School

Opening with a soundscape reminiscent of the dawn bursting into colour over a still lake, the piece unfolds into an uplifting and hopeful fanfare before fading back into a wash of colours for the final bars.

Not a traditional fanfare, the piece evokes images of Canberra, Australia located between Sydney to the North and Melbourne to the South. The opening bowed metallic percussion give a sense of that first ray of light coming from the horizon over Lake Burley Griffin and the towering National Carillon. With an ascending fifth, from G to D, the French Horn summons the sun to rise further, stirring the Australian wildlife. In its entirety, the opening is a vivid crescendo leading to a remarkably clear and rich blue sky as Solo Trumpet gives the first statement of the fanfare, with a dance-like harmonic underpinning from the woodwinds.

Program notes written by Eric Posner

Here I am, contemplating the dawn again.
This early morning time has become irresistible,
a moment with my thoughts and with awesome splendor.

Often there are no words that can express the awareness
of the universe as I watch light wash over the horizon.

Dawn is friend of the muses.

Aurora musis amica.

Category: Orchestral, Wind Symphony, Brass Band; School Ensembles;
Instrumentation: Wind Symphony: 2 Flutes, Oboe, Bassoon, 2 Bb Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, 2 Alto Saxes, 1 Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax, 1 C Trumpet (optional Bb transposition), 2 Bb Trumpets, 2-3 French Horns (3rd part optional), 2 Trombones, 1 Euphonium, 1 Tuba, Percussion (Bass Drum, Triangle, Cymbals, Tubular Bells, Glockenspiel, Vibraphone), Harp (optional piano subsitution). Bowing extended techniques for Harp, Glockenspiel, Vibraphone. Featuring improvised aleatoric elements for woodwinds and brass.
Year: 2013
Work duration: 3min
Difficulty/level: Grade 3.5
Commissioned by: Canberra Grammar School as part of the Centenary of Canberra in 2013 and the Canberra International Music Festival.

Versions of this work appear in these recordings

Aubade & Nocturne
Sally Greenaway
Released 2014

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