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Old and Yu: The clarinet music of Julian Yu, Volume 2

A series of catchy short pieces composed for clarinet and string quartet, and piano by Julian Yu. Often playful, these pieces are based on oddly familiar classical themes. Chinese folksongs, Dvorak and Mozart are also featured. The track titles will give you some idea of what to expect.

Old and Yu presents the lighter side of Julian Yu. It is a series of catchy short pieces composed for clarinet and string quartet. We have the opportunity to witness a master at play, blissfully exploring and experimenting, weaving an amazing array of musical threads and demonstrating an incredible depth of scholarship and research, all in the name of beauty, fun and love of life.

The album begins with a suite of six Chinese folksongs arranged for clarinet and string quartet. The rich tradition of Chinese folksong represents the “Old” in the album’s title, and this melodic material is woven into the texture of many of the works on the CD. In the folksong suite Julian has given the Chinese melodies a new set of clothes in the form of a quintet of modern, Western instruments. The original melodies are presented with no modifications, variations, developments or modulations whatsoever so the listener can experience the sheer beauty of the melodies.

As we progress though the works on the album this melodic material is treated with astonishing imagination and creativity. In Yu’s hands the boundaries between East and West really can dissolve resulting in a whole brimming with a mischievous humour and at the same time a profound understanding of the range and depth of human emotional expression.

Clarinettist Robert Schubert is joined by a string quartet in most of the pieces. The final four-movement work, Mozartiana, features Trio Varie (clarinet, cello and piano).

(The first volume in this series of the clarinet music of Julian Yu, "China Wind", demonstrated the composer’s mastery of the language of 20th century Western art music and hinted at the path of East-West hybridisation that he was beginning to develop. The music was profound and mostly serious.)

A video of Trio Varie performing excerpts from "Mozartiana" can be seen here:


Robert Schubert

Robert Schubert is a Melbourne-based clarinettist and teaches woodwind at the Victorian College of the Arts.

Trio Varie

Clarinettist Robert Schubert formed Trio Varie with cellist Virginia Kable and his wife, pianist Akemi Schubert in 2017.

Press quote

“Julian Yu is in playful mode, cleverly demonstrating connections between music from his homeland in China and well-known tunes from Western classical repertoire. Robert Schubert’s clarinet playing is exemplary, as are performances by the string players and pianist; they are well supported by the excellent sound recording produced at Move Records studio in Melbourne. This CD is unusual, quirky – and most enjoyable.”

Read full review

— Gwen Bennett, Music Trust e-zine Loud Mouth

Audio previews

Track Listing

    Chinese Folksong Suite Julian Yu

  1. Women on patrol
  2. A patch of willow trees
  3. Flower riddle
  4. Flying the kite
  5. Guest from afar, please stay awhile
  6. Dry load dance
  7. Classical Stories Julian Yu

  8. Prologue – Two Swans under Two Moons
  9. Compound tragedy
  10. Paganiniana
  11. Phone call to Mozart
  12. What's for Elise?
  13. Finished Symphony
  14. Why are butterflies sad?
  15. Stepping up birthday
  16. Harmonic Phrases at an Exhibition
  17. Caterpoint
  18. To comrade Shostakovich
  19. Epilogue – Two Swans under Two Moons
  20. Symphony from the Old World (Dvorak in China) Julian Yu

  21. Allegro molto
  22. Largo
  23. Scherzo – molto vivace
  24. Allegro con fuoco
  25. Mozartiana Julian Yu

  26. Allegretto
  27. Moderato
  28. Andante
  29. Quodlibet – Allegro



Julian Yu

The multi-award winning Australian composer Julian Yu employs a musical language imbued with a high degree of elegance and expressiveness, which are both enhanced by an impeccable craft and special attention to detail.

Where to buy

Old and Yu: The clarinet music of Julian Yu, Volume 2 is available for download from the iTunes Music Store.
It's available for streaming through Spotify and Apple Music.

Old and Yu: The clarinet music of Julian Yu, Volume 2 is available as as CD. It can be purchased online through Buywell Music or the Australian Music Centre which both offer secure online ordering.

Move CDs can be ordered through music retailers across Australia including Readings.

Product details

List price
$25.00 AUD
Release date
March 2018
© 2018 Move Records
℗ 2018 Move Records
Catalogue number
MD 3424
Alternate catalogue number
EAN 9314574342420