Friday, 17 July 2009

Waltzing Mad Hilda (for two pianos)


ABANDON YE FORTHWITH your futile quest to find the ultimate encore piece for your next piano duet concert - you've just found it! Especially if you happen to be piano duetists of an excessively Australian persuasion.
Waltzing Mad Hilda comprises no more than a single Verse & Chorus of Australia's real national anthem, yet showcases a wide range of musical styles. In fact, it is a veritable buffet of genres, a light-hearted international frolic packed into a mere 1 minute 30 seconds. From moment to moment you get snatches of Jazz, Bach, Ragtime, Chopin, Blues, or Viennese Waltz etc.  Expect anything.

Connect your device to a decent sound system or enclosed headphones, and click the orange PLAY button:

Alternatively, you could listen to the music at its URL:
If you wish, you may read the pdf score here.
This link will open in its own window so you can follow the score while listening to the music. Both the score and mp3 recording are free and downloadable.

The melody line functions as a simple 'wandering' Cantus Firmus threaded through most of the piece which, once identified by the performers, can be deliberately made a little more prominent if desired. To this end, melody notes are often placed in prominent positions rhythmically (eg, bars 18-19 have them placed as high notes on the beat, in spite of the flurry of semi-quavers). The Introduction (bars 1 & 2) and the Outroduction (bars 28-31) are freely composed.
Bah. This cryptic pic of a sheep was put here to whet the curiosity of those who are not familiar with the story behind Waltzing Matilda. 
 Who the bloody hell was Banjo Gore-Paterson?
And what the f*** is a jumbuck anyway?

And don't forget to place a bottle of beer and a pair of shearing clippers on the piano before launching (lurching?) into your performance.

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