Dance Music for Concert Halls
for clarinet, violin, cello and piano (2012)

duration: 20’
GRT • 158

score available from
Australian Music Centre

program note
1. pairs / doubles
2. interlude
3. serenade
4. variations
5. synthesis


There is a form of ‘dance music’ in the classical tradition whose purpose does not require any dancing. And I often wonder what it means, therefore, to listen to dance music while sitting still. Of course, there’s an inner dance that lifts and moves the spirit and I have always been attracted to music of any age or genre that does that.

Drawing on a diverse heritage of dance music (notably Afro-American, English, Balkan and Latin), these 5 movements present contrasting instrumental combinations, and are of varied length (3, 1, 5, 2 & 8 minutes) delineating an interleaved Fibonacci series.

The work was commissioned by Andrew Johnston to celebrate the 80th birthday of his mother, Stephanie Lillian Johnston. Herself a pianist, the musical connections trace back through her father, Ray Dean (violinist, saxophonist & band leader), her mother Isabelle Dean (pianist & cellist) and sister Carol Dean (clarinetist).
Dance Music for Concert Halls is consequently scored to reflect this family music history.

review
“The recital featured the premiere of a commissioned work by local composer Stuart Greenbaum. Drawing upon popular styles, Greenbaum's Dance Music for Concert Halls situates lyrical solos for the cello, violin and clarinet within outer movements that reflect the composer's jazz interests.”
Eamonn Kelly, The Australian, September 2012