Vladimir Ilyich on the ladder of history : full orchestra
by Becky Llewellyn (1990)
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Library shelf no. CD 956 [Available for loan]
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Library shelf no. 784.2893/LLE 1 [Available for loan]
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This orchestral piece visits the USSR as the communist experiment unfolded. The orchestra leads the listener through evolving states of repression, tyranny, anarchy and the eventual 'victory' of capitalism. The theme is loosely based on a 15th century Lithuanian carol and featues the alto trombone as 'Lenin' with its rare, distinctive instrumental tone. The narrative invokes an historical clock where ideas are transformed by each succeeding generation. As such, I have tried to integrate Lenin's dialectical theories into the music structures of the work. He saw history as a steam train and a ladder. Listeners may find the hidden victory tune of this ideological war in the horn section towards the end of the piece as Vladimir Ilyich seems the loser in this game of snakes and ladders.
Instrumentation: Full Orchestra: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contra-bassoon, 4 horns, 2 trumpets in C, 1 trumpet in B flat, solo alto trombone, tenor trombone, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (2 players), harp, strings.
Duration: 6 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Professional.
Commission note: Commissioned by Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.. Commissioned for Composers' Workshop, 1990.
Performances of this work
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