Vladimir Ilyich on the ladder of history

An orchestral exploration of the politics of tyranny and identity politics in USSR featuring alto trombone solo

Full Orchestra: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contra-bassoon, 4 horns, 2 trumpets in C, 1 trumpet in B flat, solo alto trombone, tenor trombone, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (2 players), harp, strings

Becky’s orchestral story visits the USSR as the communist experiment imploded through evolving states of repression, tyranny, anarchy and the eventual ‘victory’ of capitalism. The theme is loosely based on a 15th century Lithuanian carol, featuring the alto trombone with its rare, distinctive instrumental tone as ‘Lenin’.

Becky has integrated Lenin’s dialectical theories, seeing history as a ladder into the music structures of the work. Listeners may find the hidden victory tune of this ideological war in the horn section towards the end of the orchestral work as Vladimir Ilyich seems the loser in this game of snakes and ladders, perhaps setting the scene for the rise of the next Russian Vladimir (Putin).

Written in 1990, this 6-minute work is suitable for professional orchestras with tenor trombone soloist and was commissioned by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for its 1990 Composers’ Workshop.

Listen to a sample of Vladimir Ilyich on the ladder of history

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Where to buy

Vladimir Ilyich on the ladder of history is available from the iTunes Music Store – Apple Music.

Vladimir Ilyich on the ladder of history is also on the Move CD, Milerum’s Basket CD can be purchased online through Buywell Music  which offers secure online ordering.

You can purchase the score and parts of Vladimir Ilyich on the ladder of history directly from Becky by emailing her: