Program notes

Master Mariner, opus 45 (2006)

Master Mariner – Dead at Sea, Opus 45c (viola and piano, 2005) and Master Mariner – Lost at Sea, Opus 45d (oboe and piano, 2006) are reworkings of the eighth song from the song cycle Dead Songs (1991) for soprano, clarinet, cello, and piano. Both oboe and viola versions of Master Mariner were composed for young student performers and each is a little different to the other.

Dead Songs consists of settings of texts adapted from epitaphs collected from New South Wales seaside cemeteries.  It was the simplicity of expression, the occasional unintentional humour and even the heartfelt Australian mawkishness of the texts that attracted me to them as sources for a song cycle.  In the case of the eighth song, ‘Peace Perfect Peace’, the text is a childlike lullaby in 6/8 but with the rocking disturbed by ominous deep, gong-like sounds in the piano.

© Andrew Schultz, 2006.