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King Ubu

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Michael Schelle

Michael Schelle

General Info

Year: 1980
Duration: c. 18:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: MMB Music
Cost: Score and Parts - On Request   |   Score Only - $39.95


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
Eb Soprano Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Trumpet (in Bb) I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion I-II-III-IV

(percussion breakdown needed)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Ubu is a grotesque figure from the disturbed imagination of French playwright Alfred Jarry. A personification of all that is illogical, base, and stupid in mankind, the Ubu plays (trilogy), written in 1888 by Jarry at age 15, create an outrageous satire on life, existence and freedom. The composition King Ubu was inspired by the general aesthetic and philosophical characteristics of the play(s) rather than depicting a programmatic tale. Concepts find a symbolic place in the score. For example, the terms freedom, satire, bizarre, illogical, base and stupid are musically treated as well as juxtaposed with the more formal aspects of Ubu's dual nature, his strange relationship with Ma Ubu (his wife, "portrayed" by a secret solo violin seated within the band) and the play's many irreverent religious references. These religious references provide the basis for the composition's overall formal organization (trinity/trilogy) - a three movement structure with a bloated, disfigured and distorted manic version of the chorale "Come Thou Almighty King" as an illogical yet fitting (because of its absurdity) aggressive finale.

Program Note by Michael Schelle

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.

Recent Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Butler University Band (Robert Grechesky, conductor) - 9 April 2000.

Additional Works for Winds by this Composer

Additional Resources

None discovered thus far.