n SAMUS : South African Journal of Musicology - Borders with Shadows for string orchestra and for orchestra, Boyd McDonald : score review

Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-509X


Boyd McDonald is a Canadian performer-teacher-composer and Professor Emeritus of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. He is probably better known as a pianist, fortepianist and piano teacher than as a composer, but he has composed throughout his career (having studied with Nadia Boulanger, amongst others, for three years), and his output covers many different genres. In 1998 McDonald spent two months at the University of Natal (Durban), and reflects in musical terms several aspects of Natal as experienced by the composer during his visit. These include bird calls, animal sounds (the composer mentions the sounds of hippopotami, monkeys, baboons and hadidas) and elements of Zulu choral and dance music. The title of the work is taken from the 1937 novel by Francis Brett Young, , in which Natal is referred to as the land with shadows on its borders. (The Worcestershire-born Young settled in South Africa after the Second World War and died in Cape Town in 1954).

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