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        Genre: New Releases

        Title Description Composer Voicing



        Lament is a piece for mixed choir and cello. The text comes from the 17th-century oratorio ‘Jephte’ by Giacomo Carissimi. The words are those of anguish, for Jephte promised to sacrifice the first thing he laid eyes upon if he returned victorious from war. He fulfilled this vow, even though this happened to be his only daughter.


        The recording is of the Brisbane Chamber Choir, for whom the piece was written. The cellist is Gwyn Roberts.

        Finest Hour


        Without Churchill’s gifts of oratory, would the Allies have prevailed in World War Two? His speeches resonate these many decades later.  This choral work, Finest hour, takes its music very explicitly from Churchill’s own composition – the melody and rhythm contained within his spoken intonation. The choir simply reproduces this melody and frames it in harmony, enhancing perception of what is already there though perhaps unnoticed. It is hoped that the music also heightens the emotions of this stirring speech.


        The conductor listens to a click track through earphones (it’s preferable that these are worn discreetly, and should be either in-ear earbuds or, ideally, bone conduction headphones where available, as these leave the ear free to listen). The work may be performed with video or audio; in both cases, the audio track contains the click track on the left channel and the speech on the right channel. The left channel should be sent only to the conductor’s headphones, and the right channel to front-of-house loudspeakers. It’s possible to perform the piece with a very simple speaker setup, such as using a single speaker placed amongst the singers.

        Losing the Plot (SSA)


        A collection of four pieces for treble voices and piano. Click the links below to view purchasing information.

        1. Talking to My Shoe

        2. Underpants Anthem

        3. La-La Land

        4. Lost the Plot


        Composer Paul Stanhope writes:

        Losing the Plot is a collection of songs for children’s voices and piano with texts by Michael Leunig. They were written as a follow up to my earlier cycle of Leunig pieces called Songs of Innocence and Joy for treble voices and chamber orchestra.

        The first of these pieces, Talking to My Shoe was commissioned and premiered by the Sydney Children’s Choir as part of their 15th anniversary in 2004. The remaining three songs in the cycle were commissioned by the Network of Treble Ensembles (NoTE) which includes Brisbane Biralee Voices, Gondwana Voices,Young Adelaide Voices and Young Voices of Melbourne. All the songs in this set are tinged with an exuberant sense of the absurd, but as usual with Leunig’s texts, there are many layers of meaning and often twists in the tale.

        The songs are written for upper-primary to high-school aged treble voices mostly in unison and two parts. In two songs—Talking to My Shoe and La–La Land—the choir splits into three parts, but only in a couple of short passages. A more difficult version of this piece also exists with the voices divided into three parts.

        Permission should be sought from Penguin Books Australia before re-printing any of the texts.

        The recordings are by the Australian Boys Choir conducted by Noel Ancell.

        Wake Up!


        Wake Up! is a rhythmic and energetic piece that re-imagines the choir ensemble as a contemporary band. Amongst the global frenzy of contemporary culture, hip-hop and urban music has become the ‘folk music’ that resonates strongly with our current generation. This piece captures the vibrancy of those rhythms and melodies through the imitation of driving hip-hop beats and vociferous rap vocal.


        Sing Out!


        Sing Out! was commissioned for Australian Society of Music Education Conference 2005 as the opening massed work. It is a short, fun, rhythmic piece to be sung ‘with joy’.

        Hombres, Victoria, Victoria (from Three Motets after Victoria)


        The third of Joseph Twist’s “Victoria Triptch”. Suitable for concert use, and liturgically especially at Christmas.

        The recording (below) is by the Choir of St James Church, King Street, Sydney. A pronunciation guide is also here.

        Victory, mankind! Because against all of hell, The crying of a tender child ensures our glory.

        Available in the set of Three Motets after Victoria, found here – not available singly.

        Lamentation of Jeremiah (from Three Motets after Victoria)


        The second of Joseph Twist’s “Victoria Triptych” this piece quotes from Victoria’s Lamentation, adding new modern elements clothed in a rich, plaintive harmonic language. Suitable for concert and liturgical use, and making musical references to Victoria’s Lamentations throughout.

        Available in the set of Three Motets after Victoria, linked here – not available singly.

        Versa est in Luctum


        Number one of Twist’s “Victoria Triptych”. My harp is tuned for lamentation, and my flute to the voice of those who weep. Spare me, O Lord, for my days are as nothing (trans. Miguel Iglesias)

        Available in the set of Three Motets after Victoria, linked here – not available singly.

        Three Motets After Victoria (Victoria Triptych)


        This “Victoria Triptych” was written in 2011, the 400th anniversary of the death of the great Spanish polyphonist, Thomas Luis de Victoria. For unaccompanied SATB choir, and with divided parts, these wonderful Latin motets remind us that the great motet tradition is still vibrant and flourishing. The individual titles, recorded by the choir of St James King Street, Sydney, one of three commissioning choirs, are:

        Versa est in Luctum

        Lamentation of Jeremiah

        Hombres, Victoria, Victoria!