Dancing in the Mustard Fields


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Orpheus Music

Composer: Clarke/Thorn

Instrumentation: Descant - Treble - Tenor - Bass

Period/genre: Australian Contemporary

Grade: Easy - Moderate

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*Contemporary Piece.* Tuneful and lively set of three dance pieces. Great fun to play.

_Score 12 pp. Parts 3 pp._

  • Reviews
  • OMP104 Zana Clarke/Benjamin Thorn Dancing in the Mustard Fields

    Another collaboration between Clarke and Thorn, with melodies supplied by Zana Clarke and harmonies and ensemble work realised by Benjamin Thorn.  This suite of three movements, entitled 'Harvest Dance', 'Mustard Fields' and 'Star Gigue', will provide plenty of entertainment to a quartet of well-matched players of intermediate ability.  With interest equally shared between parts, all four players will be suitably engaged and at times tested, and the interplay between parts - particularly in the finale 'Star Gigue' - is well crafted.

    Jean McCreery, The Recorder Magazine, Winter 2003

    OMP104 Zana Clarke/Benjamin Thorn Dancing in the Mustard Fields

    Call me inexperienced but I've never even seen a mustard field let alone danced in one.  Thank goodness for the ethernet.  A quick computer search and I'm transported to a luxury villa surrounded by yellow mustard fields a mass of green with swaying, sunshine-yellow flowers.  I want to go there.

    Dancing in the Mustard Fields is the fourth collaboration between Benjamin Thorn and Zana Clarke.  The three contrasting movements of this dance suite; Harvest Dance, Mustard Fields and Star Gigue are highly lyrical, with clear rhythms this is festive writing reminiscent of the folk and rustic.  The quartet is highly accessible and will provide fun music making for players at levels 2-3.

    Harvest Dance is lively and uplifting with strong, fresh melodic writing.  All four parts have the joy of playing melody throughout the movement (no slacking off here).  The lively duple meter, definite crotchet and quaver progressions give the positive, festive feeling of harvest party time.

    Mustard Fields has a slower triple time pace with lilting, beautiful melody we're in the swaying, mustard fields.    The opening two sections, and closing section are in E Aeolean mode, with dotted rhythms, intervals of fifths and fourths the music is folkish.  As with the first movement, the tenor and bass have a good share of melodic material, and also stretches of straight accompaniment playing.

    Star Gigue opens with an improvisatory flourish on the treble over a tenor and bass drone, heralding the final dance what a great contrast.  The dance, in compound duple time, is cheerful and rhythmic.  The melodic writing is peasant-like clear, fresh, unashamedly simplistic with lashings of healthy repeated note and arpeggio playing.

    Mary Marasco, Cinnamon Sticks Vol 4. No 2. Dec 2003

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