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Nawang Wulan : guardian of the earth and rice : for alto flute and piano

by Betty Beath (1980)

Score Sample

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This sample is from the Unspecified Voice with piano version of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Emma Knott, David Miller from the CD From a bridge of dreams

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From a bridge of dreams


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From a bridge of dreams / Emma Knott: flute, David Miller: piano

Library shelf no. CD 1682 [Available for loan]

From a bridge of dreams


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Score & Part

From a bridge of dreams : 22 flute and piano works by Australian composers.

Library shelf no. 788.32/FRO 1 [Not for loan]

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Work Overview

Nawang Wulan (the guardian of the earth and of rice) is a setting of a poem by the Javanese poet Subagio Sastrowardojo. I particularly enjoyed writing this piece which remains a favourite of mine after many years. In writing the work for the soprano Susan Lorette Dunn, I was very influenced by the strong image of landscape in Java, particularly of the rice-fields...tranquil, green, with gentle breezes which bring both movement and subtle sound. It is a lyrical work in which I have set the original text Bahasa Indonesia. An English translation of this lovely poem is by Dr. Harry Aveling and I quote briefly from that:

Do not speak to me in a worldly way
I am of heaven
Do not brush against my body with your sinful body
I am of heaven
Receive me with flowers
The blood of sorrow and love
Flowers for the baby new-born from its mother's womb
Flowers for the lover sweetly yearning.......

Work Details

Year: 1980

Instrumentation: Alto flute, piano.

Duration: 3 min.

Difficulty: Medium

Dedication note: Dedicated to Gillian Rankine

Commission note: Commissioned by Gillian Rankine.

'Nawang Wulan', with other of Subagio Sastrowardjo's poems, is included in the volume 'Contemporary Indonesian poetry' edited and translated by Dr. Harry Aveling.


Nawang Wulan


Performances of this work

30 Aug 80: Performed as part of an Indonesian Day presentation, University of Queensland. Sponsored by the Musicologial Society of Australia, Queensland Chapter.

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