1982 Music

Low tide, Aramoana

Choral music

For large SATB choir and small brass ensemble

Text by Cilla McQueen

Low tide, Aramoana was commissioned by the Auckland Choral Society, and first performed by them conducted by Ray Wilson, in the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Parnell, Auckland on 2 August 1982.

About the work

Low tide, Aramoana is a setting of a poem by Cilla McQueen, and is used with her kind permission.

The piece is an evocation of an estuary at the turn of the tide. The poem itself describes Aramoana at the mouth of Otago harbour which was significant at the time because of the threat of the aluminium smelter that, because of the strength of local protest, was in fact not built. For me, however, it was the estuary where the Ruakaka River meets the sea south of Whangarei that was significant.


The work is scored for STAB choir with divisi, and 3 trumpets, 2 trombones and timpani.

The score is notated in C; trumpets may be in C or B flat. Trumpet 1, trombones and timpani form a central ensemble. Trumpets 2 and 3, as well as forming part of the central ensemble, take up initial and final positions remote but equidistant from the central ensemble, but with access to it.

Instrumental lines that are bracketed and asterisked may be omitted — the lines here only give and sustain the vocal pitches.


Buy or borrow the score from SOUNZ.

Low tide, Aramoana — SOUNZ

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Voice and instrumental ensemble

Monodrama for mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra

Text by Fleur Adcock

The first performance of Eleanor of Aquitaine was given in September 1988 at the New Directions Festival in Sydney by the Seymour Group with Jeannie Marsh (mezzo) conducted by Paul Stanhope.

About the work

Eleanor of Aquitaine was commissioned by the Northern Sinfonia with funds from the Arts Council of Great Britain.

The powerful and politically acute 12th century queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, wife of 2 kings and mother of 2, was married first to the monk-like King Louis of France — their marriage was annulled and she strategically married Henry II of England.

Henry, alarmed by her political manoeuvring and the growing power of their sons, had her imprisoned in Chinon for 17 years. In our monodrama, Eleanor, in prison, looks back to her marriages and forward to the time when she will be freed and her son, Richard Coeur de Lion will become king.


Buy or borrow the full score from SOUNZ.

Eleanor of Aquitaine — SOUNZ