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Das große Gamelanorchester des Königspalastes von Yogyakarta, Java singt und spielt traditionelle höfische Musik. Viele Bronzegongs und Xylophone, einige Flöten und Saiteninstrumente, zeremonielle Gesänge. Ausführliches Begleitheft zur Geschichte und Aufführungspraxis der Musik.

the project

Yogakarta: Gamelan of the Kraton is the fifth recording in a succession of critically acclaimed masterpieces representing some of the richest music and dance traditions from the islands of paradise, Indonesia. Although a world class tourist destination, the rich history of Indonesia is not widely publicized to visitors or well represented in the West.

At the core of Yogyakarta's cultural identity stands a single institution of unquestionable significance: the Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat, the residence of the current Sultan of Yogyakarta and his forebears. It is the music tradition of this palace that is represented on this recording.

Track one, Gendhing Lintang Karahinan (the morning star) is set in a lengthy phrase structure marked off by the infrequent sounding of the large, deep–pitched, resonant gong-gong ageng (the great gong). Traditionally created and performed only in the palaces of central Java, such grandiose pieces are to this day not popular outside the court context. Ladrang Liwung, track 4, is another fine example of Yogyanese soran playing, although set to a shorter phrase structure and strongly associated with dance.

Ladrang Semingin is strongly associated with a non–palace dance tradition known as tayuban a lively, mostly improvised social dance style performed by professional female entertainers. The livelier style of drumming in this piece, as well as the non–texted vocal shouts by the male singers, reference back to the earthy, village origins of tayuban.

Track three is the accompaniment for an elegant and complex ensemble dance used on special occasions, such as receiving guests of state or commemorating the Sultan's coronation. Such choreographies are as specific to the palace context as are the lengthy gendhing soran heard in track one.

the artists

Producer David Parsons introduces listeners to the royal gamelan tradition found on the island of Java, specifically the music tradition of the palace (kraton) of the central Javenese city Yogyakarta. Because it is forbidden to record in the palace itself, Parsons recorded at the residence of Drs. G.B.P.H Yudhaningrat (a member of the Royal Family), which adjoins the palace proper located within the old fortified Kraton section of Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

In this palace, there is a penchant for performing pieces (gendhing) in the robust, loud style known as soran. A musical texture distinctive to the soran–style of Yogyakarta gamelan includes melodic elaboration techniques performed on three different kinds of metallophones. Also characteristic of the palace style are the rhythmically–free, chant–like melodies called lagon that are sung by a chorus of male singers before, between and after gendhing.

Court musicians are an important part of the palace community and are identified by their social status with the rank given before their name. All of the musicians on this recording are abdidalem (servants of the king) belonging to the palace's performing arts office, Kawedanan Hageng Punakawan Kridha Mardawa, Drs. G.B.P.H. Yudhaningrat, director.


1 Gendhing 13'34"
  Lintang Karahinan  
2 Ladrang Semingin 9'10"
3 Lampah Bedhayan 34'37"
  Srimpi Pandhelori:  
  Ladrang Gati Kumencar  
  Bawaswara Maesalangit  
  Gendhing Pandhelori  
  Ladrang Sobrang Betawen  
  Ladrang Gati Main-Main  
4 Ladrang Liwung 6'07"
  Total Time: 63'45"

Celestial Harmonies' catalogue of Indonesian recordings include:

Tembang Sunda: Classical Music from West Java 13134
The Music of Bali, Vol. 1: Jegog 13136
The Music of Bali, Vol. 2: Legong Gamelan 13137
The Music of Bali, Vol. 3: Kecak & Tektekan 13138
The Music of Islam, Vol. 15, Muslim Music of Indonesia, Aceh and West Sumatra 14155
Yogyakarta: Gamelan of the Kraton 13161
Music of Indonesia: Flores 13175
Music of Timor 13182
The Music of Bali, 3 CD Boxed Set 19905