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Araluen for mixed voices (SATB), a cappella

Composer: Matthew Orlovich


Commissioned by St Peters Chorale (QLD), Araluen for mixed voices (SATB), a cappella is a setting of Roland Robinson’s text about a gold-rush shanty town in southern NSW, Australia.

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Additional information



Composer: Matthew Orlovich | Date of Composition: 14 September 2000 | Text: Roland Robinson (1912–1992) | Instrumentation: Mixed Voices (SATB), a cappella | Duration: c. 5 minutes | Commissioned for: St Peters Chorale (dir. by Graeme Morton) | Publisher: Morton Music | Formats: Printed Edition (MM 2043)



Tools of the Trade | Matthew Orlovich, Australian Composer.

Araluen was commissioned in 2000 for performance by St Peter’s Chorale, directed by Graeme Morton. Scored for a cappella SATB choir, the work is a setting of the first verse of Roland Robinson’s poem “Araluen”.

The text of the verse describes the poet’s journey to “Araluen”, a gold-rush shanty town in southern New South Wales, Australia.

A languorous day. The sky without a cloud.
Winding, doubling round, the red-brown road
climbed through sun and bird song-shafted gloom
towards receding smoke haze and grape bloom
mountains. Then, emerged at last, it ran
into a valley drenched by a blazing sun.*

*Roland Robinson, “Araluen” (1st verse), in Selected Poems, North Ryde, NSW, A&R Modern Poets, 1989, p.23-4.

Modulations in music often suggest to me ideas of journeying or of changing gears and I have used a series of modulations throughout my setting of Araluen. I also like to use syncopated rhythms for their ability to energise and move the music along.

I thank Graeme Morton for commissioning the work and HarperCollins Publisher for granting me permission to set Roland Robinson’s text. – MO.




Title: Araluen for mixed voices (SATB), a cappella | Composer: Matthew Orlovich | Text: Roland Robinson
Performers: National Youth Choir of Australia, directed by Graeme Morton.



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Araluen for mixed voices (SATB), a cappella has been performed, recorded and broadcast by numerous choirs around the world. Some of the known performances include:

• The Australian Boys Choir & The Vocal Consort, directed by Noel Ancell.

• ATV/16-26, directed by Joan Wright.

• Brisbane Chamber Choir, directed by Graeme Morton.

• Canberra Choral Society, directed by Peter Pocock & Tobias Cole

• Da Capo Singers, directed by Simon Loveless.

• National Youth Choir of Australia, directed by Graeme Morton.

• Oriana Chorale, directed by Tobias Cole.

• St Peters Chorale, directed by Graeme Morton.

• The Resonants, directed by Helen Swan.

• Trinity Grammar School Chapel Choir.


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