Julian Yu: Wu-Yu

Julian Yu Wu-Yu

Julian Yu: Wu-Yu

op. 14
Year of composition:
Scored for:
for orchestra
Julian Yu
Instrumentation details:
3·2·3·2 - 4·2·3·1 - 2 perc - hp - pf - strings
dedicated to Victorian Arts Centre
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Work introduction

The ancient Chinese word Wu-Yu refers to rain-making ceremonies performed in times of drought. The term was used flexibly, denoting sometimes the ceremony itself, sometimes the place in which it was held, and sometimes the music and dance associated with the ceremony.

This composition is conceptual rather than programmatic: it does not seek to describe the outer details of such a ceremony, but rather to capture its essence. It comprises three sections. The first ('ascending part') features two waves of sound, one in the strings and the other part played by the horns and woodwinds (minus the oboe). They begin softly, but steadily increase in magnitude and strength until they reach enormous proportions. In the second section (the 'level part'), the waves give way to a single haunting melodic line played by the solo oboe, after which is heard a persistent note E in the strings. A sudden thunder clap heralds the beginning of the third section (the 'descending part'), in which the unison E gradually subsides into peace and tranquility.

Julian Yu

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