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Krakatoa (Mountain of Fire)

By William Owens

Detailed Description

Krakatoa (Mountain of Fire) composed by William Owens (1963-). For concert band. Concert Band. FJH Young Band. Score only. Full set (score and parts) also available: B1385. Grade 2.5. Score only. Duration 3 minutes, 30 seconds. Published by The FJH Music Company Inc (FJ.B1385S).

This stunning and powerful work recalls the massive Krakatoa explosions of 1883 that were heard over 2,000 miles away. The piece begins with an immediate intensity using dissonant ascending notes representing burning lava, while low voices and percussion signify the thunderous blasts. A haunting slow section follows, exuding fear and uneasy anticipation. The music then becomes frantic and highly rhythmic as it leads to the huge eruption, depicted by well-written aleatoric passages that occur over booming bass lines. The "aftermath" is strangely quiet, but soon the angry mountain speaks once more in a powerful and thrilling ending!
Krakatoa is the volcanic island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. This infamous volcano has erupted violently and repeatedly throughout history, but is best known for a series of massive explosions on August 26 and 27, 1883, which were heard 2,300 miles away in Australia. In the fiery aftermath, over 36,000 lives were lost, and 297 towns and villages were destroyed or severely damaged. The piece begins suddenly and intensely. Dissonant ascending notes represent the burning lava, while low voices and percussion depict the thunderous blasts. A haunting slow section follows, exuding fear and uneasy anticipation of the horror to surely follow. The music becomes frantic and rhythmic, leading to the huge eruption - Krakatoa speaks! In the aftermath, all is strangely quiet as survivors face an uncertain future. When all seems well again, the music builds to an angry climax, as the great mountain has its final say!

About FJH Young Band

Appropriate for middle school and smaller high school groups. Second clarinets usually stay below the break. Parts are written with more independence, and instrumentation increases slightly. There is still adequate doubling in the lower voices. Grades 2 - 2.5

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