for orchestra (2006) (contr.), timp+3, harp, cste, strings
duration: 4’
GRT • 117

audio sample

score available from
Australian Music Centre

program note
Kosciuszko is Australia’s tallest mountain. It is far from the being the world’s tallest mountain but in my mind, as a young boy, it stood imperious and alone. Finally, at the tender age of 38, I stood at its peak and looked down and around at the country of my birth.

This short orchestral work was commisioned by Ars Musica Australia for Richard Gill and the Sydney Sinfonia. I have attempted for my own pleasure to depict: the chairlift ride from Thredbo Village up to Eagles Nest, heading out on the walking path, a brief scenic lookout, the path resumed, a final spiral ascent, and arrival at the summit (2,228 metres above sea level).

The piece is dedicated to my wife, Marianne, who accompanied me to the summit and fully knowing that I was ill-dressed for the conditions and in need of solid character reinforcement, took it upon herself to ensure that I did not leave without having snow and ice hurled at me. She is beautiful as the alpine wildflowers that are unique to the area.

“It is a deliberate policy of Discovery concerts to include a newly composed work, usually by an Australian composer. Here it was the world premiere of Kosciuszko by Melbourne composer Stuart Greenbaum. If only every world premiere enjoyed such close attention. The work was played twice, and in between performances Gill unravelled the melodies and gestures, revealing the work's highly cogent structure. Greenbaum is a deft orchestrator with an imaginative ear for tone colour. And if the climax of the work owed much to the brassy brilliance of the film music genre, he was at least in good company - Shostakovich wrote 36 film scores.”
Harriet Cunningham, Sydney Morning Herald, March 2006