Indonesian diptych : full orchestra
by Betty Beath (1994)
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The dancing difference / Davis. Indonesian diptych/ Beath. Concerto for violoncello / Fetherolf. Odissea / Vazzana.
Library shelf no. CD 293 [Available for loan]
Indonesian Diptych is the title of two orchestral tone poems from a three-movement work, JOURNEYS, commissioned by the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra and premiered in Brisbane on November 5th 1994. Each tone poem is a single 'journey' related to my experiences in Java and Bali.
Asmaradana is the first of the tone poems and the title refers to a Javanese song form reserved for themes of heroic or tragic love. It originates from the courtly life and music of Central Java. Already well-established by the eleventh century, it endures even today as a well-loved form of expression. I discovered this music through my interest in the poem 'Asmaradana' by the influential Javanese writer/poet Goenawan Mohamad. I originally set this poem using some thematic material from a gamelan performance and drew on some of that material when writing this orchestral tone poem.
Manusia Pertama di Angkasa Luar (The First Man in Outer Space) is the title of the second tone poem and was also influenced by Javanese poetry, although it makes no direct reference to Indonesian musical materials or traditions. The tone poem attempts to convey the powerful emotions as expressed in a poem by the Javanese writer Subagio Sastrowardojo. Part of that poem reads: "Tell the world I have reached the edge and cannot come back. I fly in outer space where day and night are one. An empty sea circled by shining stars. Earth is gone and the sky flies away. The universe is silent. I hunger not but yearn for my wife, children and mother. The further they are the greater my love......." The English translation is by Dr. Harry Aveling, Murdoch University, Western Australia.
I very much enjoyed writing these works and consider them significant in the development of my writing.
Instrumentation: 2 flutes/piccolo, 2 oboes/cor anglais, 2 clarinets in B flat, 2 bassoons, 2 horns in F, 2 trumpets in B flat, harp, piano, timpani, vibraphone, percussion, strings.
Duration: 10 min.
Contents note: Asmaradana -- Manusia Pertama di Angkasa Luar (The First Man in Outer Space).
Commission note: Commissioned by Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra.
Performances of this work
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