08 Apr

Wildbird welcomes composer Elliott Gyger

Wildbird is delighted to announce the publication of two scores by Elliott Gyger: Inferno for solo piano and Precipice for oboe and piano.

Elliott Gyger is one of Australia’s outstanding composers, known for his wonderful chamber operas Fly Away Peter and Oscar and Lucinda, orchestral works, choral music, chamber music and instrumental and solo works. He is a highly-respected composition teacher at Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne and author of the book The Music of Nigel Butterley in Wildbird’s Australian Composers series.

Inferno (2013) for solo piano is one of the great Australian piano works. The composer has written about Inferno in the introduction to the score:

Powerful images from Dante’s vision of Hell provide programmatic starting-points for a series of pieces whose internal logic is nonetheless purely musical. The vocabulary imprisons powerfully expressive gestures within tightly controlled structures, creating Lisztean tableaux of virtuosity and damnation influenced by Messiaen, Carter, Ligeti, Birtwistle and other giants of the post-war avant-garde.

The cycle consists of nine Etudes for the nine Circles of Hell, framed by four brief Interludes corresponding to the Rivers of Hell, together with a Prelude and Postlude. Each Etude explores a different subset of the piano’s range, moving gradually downward and alternately expanding and contracting across the cycle. All four Interludes, by contrast, traverse the same harmonic field spanning the entire range of the instrument, as well as the same metrical structure. Another recurring element is the transposition of Dante’s distinctive terza rima (three-line stanzas with interlocking end-rhymes: aba bcb cdc …) onto musical parameters.

– Elliott Gyger

Inferno was conceived as a single work, designed to be played in its entirety. However, Gyger shows us in the introduction some possible selected sections of the score for pianists not wanting to play the complete work.

A recording of this work is available on Inferno: The piano music of Elliott Gyger (MD3376; 2014) an album recorded on the Move Records label by pianist Michael Kieran Harvey.

Precipice (2010) for oboe and piano was commissioned as part of the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. The composer has written in the introduction to the score:

A pièce de concours denotes a work for solo instrument and piano, intended as a test piece for advanced students. It typically includes opportunities for slow, expressive playing, demonstrating the player’s control of tone quality and phrasing, as well as rapid, agile passages to display technical facility. The term sometimes carries connotations of musical slightness – but there are certainly counterexamples, among them Debussy’s celebrated Première Rhapsodie for clarinet and piano.

Precipice takes the idea of the pièce de concours as its starting point, but arranges its various components into an unexpectedly dark narrative. In addition to its topographical meaning, there is a less common definition of “precipice” as a precarious state or situation of great peril: connotations of danger and excessive speed (as in the adjective “precipitous”) are also relevant to the mood of the work. The oboe here is intrinsically a plaintive, lyrical instrument — agility is attainable but doesn’t come naturally, and always seems vulnerable to collapse.

– Elliott Gyger

Precipice has two movements: “At the edge” and “After the fall.” This publication comes with a main score for the pianist and a separate part for the oboist.

Wildbird is pleased to announce that these two scores can be ordered online: Inferno $45.00 plus postage, and Precipice $29.95 plus postage. Scores will also be available to purchase from the Australian Music Centre.

21 Aug

Two new score publications

Wildbird is pleased to announce the publication of two more scores by Brian Howard:

Alchemy, his String Quartet No.1

Desires Ingrained, for solo violin

You can listen to Desires Ingrained performed by Vera van der Bie in Amsterdam in October 2016 in the Resources section of this website.

Wildbird has a Special Offer on these two new scores from 21 August to 4 September. You can access this at Shop / Special Offers.

03 Jan

Wildbird books and scores now available from the Australian Music Centre

Wildbird Music is delighted to announce that our publications can now be purchased through the Australian Music Centre.  While all titles are still available to order directly from the Wildbird Website, as before, this means you can now add Wildbird music scores or books from the Australian Composers series to your Australian Music Centre order for scores, recordings and books.  Visit www.australianmusiccentre.com.au to view the comprehensive range and place your order.

31 Mar

Limelight Australian Composition Seminar 2016

Wildbird Music is delighted to support the Limelight Australian Composition Seminar again in 2016.  Taking place on Tuesday 19 July at Santa Sabina College, Strathfield (Sydney), and hosted by Karen Carey, Richard Gill and Andrew Batt-Rawden, we hear this special and enriching event for secondary school music teachers and students has already sold out.

We’re very pleased that alongside workshops of student compositions, the music of Wildbird composer Brian Howard will be featured this year, with a performance and analysis of Voyage through radiant stars 6, the stand-alone string quartet movement from Howard’s larger chamber work Voyage through radiant stars, also connected with the solo saxophone work Voyages 1-8. We’re looking forward to the education kit arising from the seminar, as well as a recording of Voyage through radiant stars 6.

09 May

World premiere of ‘Full Fathom Five’

We’re delighted to announce that Full Fathom Five, composed by Brian Howard and published by Wildbird, will receive its world premiere on Saturday 9 May 2015 at 3pm at the Canberra International Music Festival. The concert, ‘Movers and Shakers’ will take place at the Fitter’s Workshop, and performers on the programme include: Amy Dickson, saxophone, Geoff Gartner, cello, Roland Peelman, piano and conductor, YAFF string players, Ensemble Offspring, New Zealand String Quartet, Tinalley String Quartet.

The concert will be broadcast on ABC Classic FM, Thursday 14 May 2015 at 8pm.

07 Apr

Voyage through radiant stars

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Voyage through radiant stars for a large ensemble of 18 instruments by Brian Howard will receive its premiere at the opening night of the 2014 Aurora Festival on 30 April at the Riverside Theatres in Parramatta. The work was commissioned by the Festival with funds from the Australia Council and will be performed by James Nightingale (saxophone) and the Sydney Conservatorium Modern Music Ensemble conducted by Daryl Pratt.

Voyage through radiant stars is the companion work to Voyages 1-8 for saxophone (soprano and alto) which was premiered at the World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland in July 2012.

Voyages 1-8 has now been published. The World Premiere can be viewed and heard here:

To order Voyages 1-8, please Visit our Shop.