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Leise rieselt der Schnee uses as a starting point the Austrian carol of that name. The piece is a kind of homage to Austrian folk music, which is so pure in its simplest forms, and which has had such a wide influence through the music of classical composers. I have also used other music which is still sung in the alps, as well as some 'jodlers' of my own: the plainchant, Christ ist erstanden, Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen by Isaac, Verlassen bin i, in Alpine dialect, and the Andachtsjodler, which is traditionally sung at Christmas. I also used a few bars of Mozart's clarinet quintet, which is very like the Andachtsjodler, because the spirit of Alpine folk music is very much alive in his music.
Leise rieselt der Schnee was written for the Sydney University Musical Society.