, the one-of a-kind solo piano work celebrating Australia, and based on its beloved song Waltzing Matilda
, has hit the Australian airwaves: Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Classical FM and Public Radio Station 4mbs Classic FM.
In December 2000, Laura commissioned New York composer Steven Rosenhaus to write a solo piano work based on Waltzing Matilda
in honor of Australia for a concert she and Melbournian soprano Lesley Pryde were invited to give
at the New York Australian Consulate.
Rosenhaus' work embraces the song's timeless spirit, cleverly weaving its way through an inventive group of variations. Delightfully subtle references to many great piano works are made throughout the piece-from a roster of composers that includes Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin. Along the way, Matilda Variations
take an unexpected twirl--with a tango. Two variations-including the tango-can be heard right here.
Since its premiere and original recording, Matilda Variations
was rereleased in 2010 with new cover art design by cartoonist and illustrator Karen Leon. Her Australian-spirited lines and colors surround the photo of the Steinway Piano with Rosenhaus' score and an Australian ceramic cockatoo-lent by Dr. Peter Green.
It is also the soundtrack for Broken Tail Production's 2013 film of the same name, capturing the spirit of Australia through paintings by the noted Australian artist Ian Banksmith.
In addition to radio, a copy of Matilda Variations is in the Australian National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra--which collects, preserves and provides access to Australia's historic and contemporary moving image and recorded sound culture.