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Blue Work


Elysian Fields

for orchestra

Year:  1998   ·  Duration:  13m
Instrumentation:  picc2222; 423 (3 bass trom)1; Timpani; Percussion (2 players); strings

Year:  1998
Duration:  13m
Instrumentation  picc2222; 423 (3 bass trom)...

Composer:   David Hamilton

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David Hamilton: Elysian Fie...

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About

In this work I have returned to one of my favourite compositional devices: the re-working of an existing piece of music in a type of inverted variation form. This work is based on the hymn tune St Elizabeth, usually sung to the words ‘Fairest Lord Jesus’. The work consists of one complete statement of the harmonic framework of the hymn. All the musical material is in some way developed from the notes of the hymn and its harmonisation. Rather than hearing the ‘theme’ at the beginning, as would be standard procedure in a set of variations, the music builds up to the ‘theme’ which is only heard in its original form towards the end.

The title has no specific programmatic intent. Elysium was where the Greeks believed the dead went, and also has the idea of being a place or state of perfect happiness. I liked the idea of the title, and the music is intended to reflect some of those positive feelings.


Commissioned note

Commissioned by the Auckland Youth Symphony Orchestra on the occasion of their 50th anniversary in 1998


Dedication note

Dedicated to the Auckland Youth Symphony Orchestra and their conductor of many years, Michael McLellan


Contents note

Four sections


Performance history

01 Jul 1998: Performed by Auckland Youth Symphony Orchestra cond. Michael McLellan; Elder Hall, Adelaide, Australia

18 Jul 1998: Performed by Auckland Youth Symphony Orchestra cond. Michael McLellan; 50th Anniversary Concert, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland

27 Nov 1998: P; Elysian Fields; NZSO c. Taddei 271198

24 Jul 2001: Performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kenneth Young

30 Sep 2001: Performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Matthias Bamert

31 May 2007: Worlds Beyond


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