Enter your username and password

Forgotten your username or password?

Your Shopping Cart

There are no items in your shopping cart.


Indonesian diptych : full orchestra

by Betty Beath (1994)

dancing difference


This item may be available to purchase from the Australian Music Centre.
Please contact our Sales Department to confirm pricing and availability.

Work Overview

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.

Work Details

Year: 1994

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.

Difficulty: Advanced

Contents note: Asmaradana -- Manusia Pertama di Angkasa Luar (The First Man in Outer Space).

Commission note: Commissioned by Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra.

First performance: by Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, Graham Abbott — 5 Nov 94. Basil Jones Theatre, Brisbane

Performances of this work

5 Nov 94: Basil Jones Theatre, Brisbane. Featuring Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, Graham Abbott.

User reviews

Be the first to share your thoughts, opinions and insights about this work.

To post a comment please login.