Duration: c. 20:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Gregory Youtz - Official Website
Cost: Score & Parts - Unknown | Score Only - Unknown
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V-VI, including:
- Bass Drum
- Bongos (2)
- Cymbals (crash, high and low suspended)
- Field Drum
- Finger Cymbals
- Gong (Tam-tam)
- Snare Drum
- Temple Blocks (5)
- Tom-Toms (4)
- Tubular Bells
- Wood Blocks (2)
None discovered thus far.
Three Dragons is a three movement symphonic suite honoring the sacred beasts of Chinese mythology. In China, dragons are water creatures, unlike their European counterparts who are associated with fire. Chinese dragons are neither good nor bad; they are spirits of the unseen world whose occasional appearances are usually associated with momentous change. Above all they are wild things, creatures of awesome power associated with the endless flux of the universe- the yin and the yang.
The music for all three movements is based on a rotating set of pitch collections comprising a pentatonic scale plus an inserted semitone. This allows the frequent use of the familiar Chinese pentatonic scale but also the quite exotic coloring of it. All melodies and harmonies are derived from one or more of these collections.
Movement I: The Dragon of the River The first movement honors a river dragon. As the river flows endlessly eastward toward the sea, it gradually increases its speed, dancing through canyons and swirling eddies before flowing into a quiet pool. The dragon's presence is felt before it is seen- suddenly leaping upward and swirling brilliantly in a shower of spray. Then as quickly as it appeared, it vanishes again into thin air, leaving the river quietly flowing.
Movement II: The Dragon of the Lake The second movement honors a dragon of the lake. In the quiet depths, we hear its dark rumblings, each time more powerfully until the whole lake surges with its motion.
Movement III: The Dragon of the Eastern Sea The last movement honors the mightiest of them all- the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea. He entertains at his court with the finest of dancers and singers, and we hear a suite of dances surrounded by his own rough and rousing music.
Three Dragons was commissioned in 1998 by Robert Ponto and the University of Oregon Wind Ensemble.
Program Note by Gregory Youtz
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
Works for Winds by This Composer
- Fireworks (1987)
- For Those Who Wait (2015)
- Four Chords (1993)
- Frederick Street (2018)
- In the Vernacular (1995)
- Scherzo for a Bitter Moon (1981)
- Three Dragons (1998)
- Trains of Thought (2000)
- Village Dances (1991)