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Redhill - A Symphonic Folklore For Wind Orchestra

Sheetmusic for concert band.
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Item no.: 100145
Composer: Benjamin Yeo
Grade: 4-5
Duration: 11:40
Publisher: Tierolff
Size: A4 21x29,7cm, score A3 29,7x42cm


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Redhill was commissioned by the Singapore Wind Symphony for their Taiwan Tour Concert 2014. It received its world premiere on 25 April 2014 at the Pingzhen City Social Education Culture Center, Taoyuan, Taiwan under the musical direction of Mr. Adrian Tan. Redhill is a programmatic work based on one of Singapore’s most well-known legends:
A long time ago, the southern coast of Singapore was infested by numerous fierce swordfish. The villagers and fishermen could not ply their trades at the sea, as they would be attacked by these fearsome creatures if they ever ventured near the waters. The people requested help from the Sultan, but even him and his royal army could not do anything about it. A little boy then proposed a solution to the Sultan – to build a row of barricade made of banana tree trunks along the affected coast. When the swordfish tried to attack the villagers again, their pointed beaks would pierce through the barricade and would be trapped immediately. The plan worked perfectly, and the smart boy became popular among the villagers as their saviour. This invited jealousy from the Sultan. Fearing his rule would be threatened in the future, he sent his soldiers to kill the boy who lived on top of a hill. As the poor boy died, his blood flew down the hill, soaking the whole hill red.
The work is made up of six continuous episodes – ‘The Redhill’, ‘Village of Peace’, ‘Battle of the Sea’, ‘The Village Boy’, ‘The Vicious King’ and ‘Finale’. After the majestic opening in ‘The Redhill’, the ‘Village of Peace’ brings us into the sedateness and misty quality of the Indonesian (Javanese) Gamelan sound-world. This section features the solo piccolo/flute representing the Suling (an end-blown bamboo flute) accompanied by the soft mallet percussion and gong in the background. The music then moves into an ominous setting preparing for the ‘Battle of the Sea’ in which much tension and instability is heightened by the use of irregular rhythmic displacement and meters. The following lyrical section highlights the youth and innocence of ‘The Village Boy’, featuring an oboe solo, accompanied by the piano. This calm is then disturbed by ‘The Vicious King’ with the reprise of the ominous atmosphere before the musical momentum takes off again towards the final section of the work. The ‘Finale’ brings back the oboe theme heard earlier but now performed by the full ensemble in a grandioso style, paying their final tribute to the ill-fated boy who saved the lives of the villagers!

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