Asmaradana : for solo piano
by Betty Beath (1977, this version: 1988)
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Asmaradana, a Javanese song form reserved for themes of heroic or tragic love, 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 and poet Goenawan Mohamad. I originally set this poem for voice and piano using thematic material from a gamelan performance and drew on that material for this orchestral tone poem. I had the great pleasure of introducing this work to an audience in Jakarta, when it was included in a performance given by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra conducted by Richard Mills during the Music of Australia program held during the Trade and Cultural Mission in Jakarta, Australia Today Indonesia 94.
Year: 1977, this version: 1988
Duration: 4 min.
Difficulty: Medium — AMEB Grade 6-7
Commission note: Commissioned by Selma Epstein.
Asmaradana is the name given to a Javanese song-form reserved for songs of love. The classic form of the asmaradana was well established in the 11th century and continues as a well-known well-loved form of expression today. The theme of heroic, tragic love is reserved for the Asmaradana song form.
Asmaradana by Betty Beath
"Asmaradana", a Javanese song form reserved for themes of heroic or tragic love, originates from the courtly life and music of Central Java. Already established by the eleventh century, it endures even today as a well-loved form of expression. In this story, from the poem by Goenawan Mohamad, Damarwulan farewells his love Anjasmara as he leaves to join in battle and meet his death as various omens predict.
- Inspired by: Indonesia
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