2018-05-26 19:30

The Pine-soughing Valleys

Closing Concert of ISCM World New Music Days 2018

At 19:30 on May 26, 2018/ Saturday

CCOM Opera & Concert Hall

 

China National Symphony Orchestra

ZHANG Guoyong, conductor

Seizan Sakata, Shakuhachi

Mizuki Aita, percussion

ZHANG Jiakang, zheng

ZHENG Yang, sheng

 

1.Witold Lutosławski (Poland)

Three Postludes for Orchestra (1958–63)


2.Harue Kunieda (Japan)

Floral Tributes III for strings, percussion and shakuhachi(2017)


3.Bernhard Gander (Austria)

Blood Beat for Orchestra (2016)


--------Intermission-------


4.JIA Guoping (China)

The Pine-soughing Valleys for sheng, zheng and orchestra (2014)


5.CHEN Danbu (China)

The Peng in the Wind for orchestra (2016-17) 


6.TAN Dun (U.S.A.)

Passacaglia: Secret of Wind and Birds


7.Fung Lam(Hong Kong, China)

Quintessence



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China National Symphony Orchestra


The China National Symphony Orchestra (CNSO) was founded in 1996 on the basis of the Central Philharmonic established in 1956. The orchestra is chartered and administered by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic ofChinawith three affiliations: the orchestra, a chorus and the Beijing Concert Hall.

 

The CNSO's present director is Yi Zhang; Artistic Consultant is Zuqiang Wu; The CNSO Honorary Artistic Director is Tan Dun; Principal Conductor is Xincao Li; Laureate Conductor is Muhai Tang. Principal Guest Conductor is En Shao and its Guest Conductor is Xieyang Chen. The CNSO concertmaster is Kunyu Zhao.

 

During the last century, renowned Chinese conductor Delun Li, Zhongjie Han, Liangkun Yan laid a solid

foundation for the orchestra’s development. In the new millennium, conductors of international reputation such as Zuohuang Chen, Muhai Tang, En Shao successively devote themselves to the undertaking of the orchestra.


Throughout its history, the CNSO has collaborated with many world-leading artists in order to bring excellence to its audiences at home and abroad. Our audiences have been thrilled by a string of conductors including Herbert von Karajan, Eugene Ormandy, Seiji Ozawa, Gennadi Rozhestvendsky, Charles Dutoit, David Zinman,Michel Plasson, and by well-known guest instrumentalists David Oistrakh, Yehudi Menuhin, Isaac Stern, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Gil Shaham, Joshua Bell, Siqing Lv, Feng Ning, Yo-Yo Ma, Jian Wang, Chengzong Yin, Martha Argerich, Lang Lang, Yundi Li,Yujia Wang, Lindeman, Albretch Mayer; vocalists Giuseppe Giacomini, José Carreras, Kathleen Battle. The Oscar winning documentary "From Mao to Mozart" was partially recorded because of the good cooperation and friendship between the artists and CNSO.

 

To insure the highest possible standard, exceptional Chinese musicians are admitted through strict auditions, after the founding of the People’s Republic of China,among them winners of competitions at home and abroad. The outstanding musicians gather in the orchestra and incessantly energize it, making CNSO the flagship among the Chinese orchestras. 


As a national symphony orchestra, the China National Symphony Orchestra undertake the major performance on significant national and diplomatic occasions such as "Beautiful China and Glorious Dream" Concert in Celebrating the 65th Anniversary of Establishing of the People's Republic of China, Concert in Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of Victory of Chinese People's Anti-Japanese War and World Anti-Fascist War" , “Eternal Faith " Concert in Celebrating 95th Anniversary of Establishing of CCP , "BRICS Conference" ,"Boao Forum for Asia" ,"APEC Summit","G20 Summit" and etc .the outstanding techniques and performances of our musicians were acclaimed by state leaders and officials from various states and won honor fro the country.

 

Meanwhile, the CNSO is actively involved in studio recording for films and TV series. Some of the bestrecognized ones are "Zhou Enlai" "The Promise" "Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy" "The Passionate Years" and sound tracks from big events such as 2008 Olympic Games, NPC&CPPCC, APEC Summit, World

renowned recording companies such as Philips 、 EMI、 DG and Universal Music have recorded and released quite a few CDs for the orchestra.

 

The orchestra holds almost 100 concerts per season. Since last century, the orchestra had developed an

educational program by bringing symphony to school, military and even the factory until now.This convention is passed down by the musicians from generations to generations and carried for ward.

 

The orchestra has toured in major countries and regions in Europe, Asia, Australia, North  America as well as

presenting unforgettable performances to Chinese audiences. The Western audiences were surprised to find "a new powerful member in the largest territory of classical music" .the South Korean media praised the orchestra as "the best symphony orchestra in Asia", "pride of 1.3 billion people". The CNSO took part in the Opening Ceremony Concert of "2010 Festival of the World Symphony Orchestra" and the Opening Ceremony Concert for"2013 Asian Orchestra Festival" in Daegu Concert Hall,2015 Asia Orchestra Week in Tokyo.

 

The China National Symphony Orchestra sincerely invites you to enjoy these moments of beautiful music and listen to the sound of China. It brings honor to the Chinese people at home and abroad by its achievement and improvement.

 


Composer:


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Witold Roman Lutosławski 


Witold Roman Lutosławski (Polish: [ˈvitɔld lutɔsˈwafski]; 25 January 1913 – 7 February 1994) was a Polish composerand orchestral conductor. He was one of the major European composers of the 20th century, and one of the preeminent Polish musicians during his last three decades. He earned many international awards and prizes. His compositions (of which he was a notable conductor) include four symphonies, a Concerto for Orchestra, a string quartet, instrumental works, concertos, and orchestral song cycles.


During his youth, Lutosławski studied piano and composition in Warsaw. His early works were influenced by Polish folk music. His style demonstrates a wide range of rich atmospheric textures. He began developing his own characteristic composition techniques in the late 1950s. His music from this period onwards incorporates his own methods of building harmonies from small groups of musical intervals. It also uses aleatoric processes, in which the rhythmic coordination of parts is subject to an element of chance.


During World War II, after escaping German capture, Lutosławski made a living by playing the piano in Warsaw bars. After the war, Stalinist authorities banned his First Symphony for being "formalist"—allegedly accessible only to an elite. Lutosławski believed such anti-formalism was an unjustified retrograde step, and he resolutely strove to maintain his artistic integrity. In the 1980s, Lutosławski gave artistic support to the Solidarity movement. Near the end of his life, he was awarded the Order of the White Eagle, Poland's highest honour.



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Harue KUNIEDA


Born in Tokyo, she entered the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and majored in composition, graduating in 1983. Her works have been performed at ISCM-ACL in Hong Kong, Australia and Israel, at the Asian Music Festival in Sendai, at Tanglewood Contemporary Music Festival and others.


Serenade for Soprano and Harp’ was selected for ISCM World Music Days in Luxemburg in 2000. She was an artist of the Japanese Government Overseas Study Program in London in 2003.


Peace on Earth for Soprano, Harp and Orchestra’ was commissioned and the first performed by the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo in 2005, was selected for ISCM World New Music Days in Sweden in 2009. She is a professor at the Faculty of Education, Kumamoto University and a member of the Japan Society for Contemporary Music and the 21st Century Composer's Association. 




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Bernhard Gander

 

Born in Lienz in 1969, Gander studied piano and conducting at the Tyrolean Provincial Conservatoire and composition with Beat Furrer in Graz.

He also studied at the Studio UPIC in Paris and at the Swiss Centre for Computer Music in Zurich.

2004 he has received the Musikförderungspreis of the City of Vienna, Erste Bank Composition Prize, a government grant in 2005,Ernst-Krenek Prize 2012. Also he received commissions from Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Modern,RSO,Musikprotokoll, Konzerthaus Wien,Donaueschinger Musiktage,Wiener Festwochen, Biennale Munich, Wittener Tage für neue

 

 

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Jia Guoping


Jia Guoping (b. Shanxi, 1963) completed studies in music at the Shanxi-Jin Opera Academy in Taiyuan. After four years serving as chairman of the music department at the Culture House in Luliang, he studied composition at the Central Conservatory in Beijing, becoming an instructor in harmony and composition in 1991. A grant from the German Academic Exchange Commission (DAAD) brought him to Stuttgart for four years of study with Helmut Lachenmann at the Hochschule there. He also participated in the Darmstadt Summer Course. Since 1998, he has been professor of composition and analysis of new music at the Central Conservatory in Beijing. Strongly committed to cultural exchange between China and Germany, Jia has devoted vast energy to organizing concerts and scholarly events. He initiated the annual Con Tempo Composition Competition in 2007 and, in 2009, the German Contemporary Music Festival. Many of his students have also gone to Germany for advanced study. In 2011, with the support of the Siemens Foundation and the International Ensemble Modern Academy, Jia founded the Ensemble ConTempo Beijing, the first Chinese ensemble for modern music in which Western and Eastern instruments are combined. His compositions, which are published by Sikorski (Hamburg), include chamber, orchestral, ballet, and film music, some of it using Chinese instruments, and he has received various awards in China and Germany.



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CHEN Danbu

 

Composer, Professor and Doctoral tutor at the Central Conservatory of Music 


His main compositions:

Elegy For Love Symphony Suite

Symphony Poem “Tian Hai Fei Qiao”

Dance Drama Music “Hong Lou • Zang Hua Hun”

Giant Bird-for Symphony Orchestra

 Dance of Sleeve Dagger and Warriors - for Pipa and Symphony Orchestra

Mixed Chamber Music “A Long Song “

Guzheng and Pipa Duet “Zui Ying Po Suo”

Movie Soundtracks  etc.

 

He is awarded in China:

Third Prize of 13th National Symphonic Composition Competition

First Prize of National Dance Drama Music

2015 Golden Bell Prize of Composition Competition

 

Beijing Municipal  Prize for his Outstanding Music Composition

 

His main literature works:

Vague Sense of Musical Structure Function

 Basic Tutorial for Musical Form Analysis



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Tan Dun
 
The world-renowned artist and UNESCO Global Goodwill Ambassador Tan Dun, has made an indelible mark on the world's music scene with a creative repertoire that spans the boundaries of classical music, multimedia performance, and Eastern and Western traditions. A winner of today's most prestigious honors including the Grammy Award, Oscar/Academy Award, Grawemeyer Award, Bach Prize, Shostakovich Award, and most recently Italy’s Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement, Tan Dun's music has been played throughout the world by leading orchestras, opera houses, international festivals, and on radio and television. This past year, Tan Dun conducted the grand opening celebration of Disneyland Shanghai which was broadcast to a record-breaking audience worldwide.
 
As a conductor of innovative programs around the world, Tan Dun has led the China tours of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Japan’s NHK Symphony Orchestra. His current season includes leading the NDR Radiophilharmonie in a five-city tour in Germany, as well as engagements with the London Symphony Orchestra and at the Venice Biennale. Tan Dun currently serves as the Honorary Artistic Director of the China National Symphony Orchestra. Next season, he will also conduct Orchestre National de Lyon in their tour to China. Tan Dun has led the world's most esteemed orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala, Münchner Philharmoniker, the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, among others.
 
Tan Dun’s individual voice has been heard widely by international audiences. His first Internet Symphony, which was commissioned by Google/YouTube, has reached over 23 million people online. His Organic Music Trilogy of Water, Paper and Ceramic has frequented major concert halls and festivals. Paper Concerto was premiered with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the opening of the Walt Disney Hall. His multimedia work, The Map, premiered by YoYo Ma and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, has toured more than 30 countries worldwide. Its manuscript has been collected by the Carnegie Hall Composers Gallery. His Orchestral Theatre IV: The Gate was premiered by Japan’s NHK Symphony Orchestra and crosses the cultural boundaries of Peking Opera, Western Opera and puppet theatre traditions. Other important premieres include Four Secret Roads of Marco Polo for the Berlin Philharmonic, Piano Concerto “The Fire” for Lang Lang and the New York Philharmonic. In recent seasons, his percussion concerto, The Tears of Nature, for soloist Martin Grubinger premiered in 2012 with the NDR Symphony Orchestra and Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women Symphony for 13 Microfilms, Harp and Orchestra was co-commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam.
 
As a visual artist, Tan Dun’s work has been featured at the opening of the China Pavilion at the 56th Venice Art Biennale. Other solo exhibitions include the New York’s Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Beijing’s Chambers Fine Art Gallery, and Shanghai Gallery of Art. Most recently, Tan Dun conducted The Juilliard Orchestra in the world premiere of his Symphony of Colors: Terracotta for the opening of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s epic exhibition The Age of Empires.
 
As a global cultural leader, Tan Dun uses his creativity to raise awareness of environmental issues and to protect cultural diversity. In 2010, as “Cultural Ambassador to the World” for the World EXPO Shanghai, Tan Dun envisioned, curated and composed two special site-specific performances that perform year-round and have since become cultural representations of Shanghai: Peony Pavilion, a Chinese opera set in a Ming Dynasty garden and his Water Heavens string quartet which promotes water conservation and environmental awareness. Tan Dun was also commissioned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to write the Logo Music and Award Ceremony Music for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Tan Dun currently serves as Honorary Chair of Carnegie Hall’s China Advisory Council, and has previously served as Creative Chair of the 2014 Philadelphia Orchestra China Tour, Associate Composer/Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony, and Artistic Director of the Festival Water Crossing Fire held at the Barbican Centre.
 
Tan Dun records for Sony Classical, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Opus Arte and Naxos. His recordings have garnered many accolades, including a Grammy Award (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and nomination (The First Emperor; Marco Polo; Pipa Concerto), Japan’s Recording Academy Awards for Best Contemporary Music CD (Water Passion after St. Matthew) and the BBC’s Best Orchestral Album (Death and Fire). Tan Dun’s music is published by G. Schirmer, Inc and represented worldwide by the Music Sales Group of Classical Companies.



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Fung Lam


Dr Lam is the Director of Artistic Planning of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and a composer. As one of the foremost Asian composers of his generation, his music has been performed in some of the most prestigious venues of the world, including Carnegie Hall in New York, Konzerthaus Berlin, Sydney Opera House, Royal Albert Hall and South Bank Centre in London. Dr Lam holds the distinction of being the youngest Chinese composer and the first Hong Kong composer ever commissioned by the BBC. He has to date written over ten orchestral works, including “Endless Forms” which was premiered at the BBC Proms 2012, and “Quintessence” which was composed to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. It has been performed in Hong Kong and on tour in 12 major cities in Europe (2015), China (2016) and Asia/Australia (2017) by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, where he served as the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Composer-in-Residence in 2013/14, under

Jaap van Zweden.


Dr Lam was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree in composition from the University of Sussex in 2012. In the same year he received the Young Artist Award 2011 from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.



Conducter:


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Zhang Guoyong

Zhang Guoyong began his study in conducting at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music under the direction of the famous conductor, Prof. Huang Xiaotong. In 1993 he was sponsored by the Chinese government a four years’ study at the Moscow State Conservatory named after Tchaikovsky, where he studied under the world famous conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky and later was granted the PhD in music. He is now the Professor and the Dean of conducting department of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, principle conductor of the Shanghai Opera House and the music director of the Qingdao Symphony Orchestra.

 

In his career he has cooperated with numbers of well-known opera houses and orchestras. Having a large repertoire including symphony, opera, ballet and symphonic chorus he is expert in Russian works, especially Shostakovich’s symphonies.

 

His style of conducting is brief, natural and full of intelligence, tension and infectiousness. At the same time his conducting is bearing a combined characteristic of passion and sense. Wherever he performed, he always impressed the audience and musicians with his sharp hearing, strong basic skills, efficient rehearsal method and appropriate handling to the music structure.

 

In recent years he was invited as national representative to take part in those important international events, such as the gala concert of the “Sino-American Culture Year”, “Sino- French Culture Year”, “Sino- German Culture Year”, “Sino- Russian Culture Year”, “Sino- Latin America Culture Year” etc.

 

In 2014, he conducted NCPA’s HDMI opera movie Carmen and Rickshaw Boy and won acclaims. In the next year, he was invited to join the NCPA’s tour to Italy. In 2016 he conducted the China Philharmonic’s premiere in Russia.

 

In 2006, he was invited to be the jury of the 8th Cadaques International Conducting Competition in Spain.

 

Maestro Gennady Rozhdestvensky once told the music critics,” I gave Zhang Guoyong the highest marks in the Moscow State Conservatory’s history. He will always have a place in any orchestra all over the world.”

 

Zhang Guoyong is now the Vice Chairman of Shanghai Musicians Association and the Vice Chairman of China Musicians Association.


Performers:


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Seizan Sakata


Seizan Sakata joined Pro Musica Nipponia in 1971 , and specializes in bass shakuhachi,  playing Tozan school shakuhachi. He has made 2O overseas tours with the ensemble. 

He won a bronze medal at the 1969 World Music Competition in Bulgaria and in 1982 performed in Japanese  Musical Prellude to Peace  in New York. In 1985, he participated in the world premiere of  Miki's opera Jaruri in St louis. He played witt Yo-Yo-Ma at the Suntory Hall in 1989, and since 1980, has given many solo recitals in Japan.Competition, he has performed extensively throughout Japan, the  United States, and Europe, including solo appearances with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,Yomiuri       Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra,  Honolulu Symphony, and Opera  Theatre of St.Louis. 

In addition to serving as President of AURA-J . He directs the Dolce Hogaku Ensemble.  

 


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Mizuki Aita


Percussionist,Mizuki Aita,Born in Sendai,Japan.First He studied Violin method,He start playing percussion 12 years old.

He has frontirer spirits of new repertoire of percussion.Many Japanese composers composed for him new repertoire of Percussion Solo or Concerto.

His spirit influenced many other player.now,He interested in composer all over the world.

 


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Zhang Jiakang

Zhang Jiakang is a undergraduate student at the Central Conservatory of Music, studying Zheng with Professor Li Meng.

She has participated in many performances, including a solo performance at the National Youth Folk Concert, the premiere of Return to Odense with Amber Quartet, Thinking of water for erhu and zheng with Ensemble ConTempo Beijing at Shanghai New Music Week and overseas trips to Europe and India.

She has won gold award at the National Youth Zheng Art Festival, the best performance award of Fujian School at the first Chinese Zheng Traditional Schools and Folk Style Invitational Tournament as well as  gold award at International Chinese Music Competition (Hamburg,Germany) Professional Junior Group.



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Zheng Yang


She is a graduated student, majoring in Sheng at Central Conservatory of Music. Her supervisor is Professor Yang Shoucheng.

 

She has premiered and recorded more than 70 new works, including Sheng Concerto "Yunchuan" and has visited many countries and regions in Asia, Europe and North America to perform and disseminate Sheng music. She played Sheng solos in some concerts such as "Warsaw Autumn" International Festival of Contemporary Music, Festival Junger Kunstler Bayreuth, Sweden "Gotlands Music Festival" World Folk Music Festival and Canada's NMC Autumn Music Festival.

She has cooperated with many orchestra, including Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, e-max from Germany, Zafraan chamber orchestra, Windy New Music orchestra, Little Giant string orchestra from Taiwan, Ding Yi Chamber Orchestra from Singapore, New orchestra from France, Toronto Chamber Orchestra.


She held “Pilgrim - Zheng Yang’s Sheng modern works concert” and published an album of the same name. That album is the first Sheng modern works album in China and is published as an important part of “The series of young musicians of Central Conservatory of Music” by Beijing Global Audio-visual Publishing House.



Program Notes:


Harue Kunieda (Japan)     Floral Tributes III for strings, percussion and shakuhachi(2017)

Where is the unexplored area where people who are involved in creation imagine something new, such as shocking experiences and memories stuck deep inside the heart, things derived from close personal experiences. It may spontaneously ignite and fly off in every direction. In this work, bamboo bars laid on a marimba table, a slit drum, and string instruments snuggle along the complicated sound of the shakuhachi. In addition, the drama quotes the Hidden Christian’s sacred song Gluriyoza via the shakuhachi and string instruments, and is tossed by a rough modern wave. The large drum recalls the rhythm of Japanese Traditional Court Dance Music The King of Ryo, and the Shakuhachi suggests the historical Shakuhachi of Shosoin in Nara.


This music incorporates everything that I heard - the psychological state of people experiencing an earthquake disaster, and of the effort to cope with tomorrow’s troubles.

 


Bernhard Gander (Austria)             Blood Beat for Orchestra (2016)    

pulse beat

drops of blood

rhythme, bloodstream

the heart pumping blood through the arteries to the finest capillaries and cells of the body

moaning, screaming

becoming tired

recovering

repeating



JIA Guoping (China)           The Pine-soughing Valleys for sheng, zheng and orchestra (2014)


The inspiration for Wind in Pines Among a Myriad of Valleys, an orchestral work with sheng and guzheng , the Chinese zither, comes from the painting of Li Tang, who was the painter in the Song Dynasty of ancient China. This famous landscape painting aroused the composer’s imagination and emotions and he completed this work during the 2013-2014 under the commission of Mannheim National Symphony Orchestra. The work, after its premiere in Germany in 2014, was considered by the German critics to be the best premiere of the band in the past ten years.


 “Sense of Structure” is the most typical characteristic of this piece of music, though not the only feature, corresponding with the unique structuring ways and sophisticated music techniques the composer adopted to construct the internal structure of the work. The main images in this piece is inspired by the five main scenic spots in the original paintings,  namely “the towering odd peaks”, “the floating clear waves”, “the plunging waterfall and singing stream”, “the surging current” and “the tall and dense pine forest”. The music follows the core numerical sequence to generate a loop of sound and form a multi-dimensional coupled hierarchy out of the core acoustic elements in the work. The hierarchical elements, in turn, constitutes the main content of five the sections of the piece


As the “nature nurtures and the mind supports”, the objective phenomenon, the artistic image and the musical expressions are fused in this piece of work in a natural  fashion. (Written by Huang Zongquan)

 

 


CHEN Danbu (China)                           The Peng in the Wind for orchestra (2016-17)


The roc is an enormous legendary bird transformed from a gigantic fish. Its image often appears in later poems, such as “In the northern ocean there is a fish, called the k’un, I do not know how many thousand li in size. This k’un changes into a bird, called the p’eng.” (Zhuangzi· A Happy Excursion), “If once together with the wind the roc could rise, He would fly ninety thousand li up to the skies”(Li Bai · The Roc-To Li Yong)as well as in a poem by poet Su Shi from the Song dynasty.

 

Wind Roc for Orchestra tries to use music to express this image. From verses like “its wings obscuring the sky like clouds”,“when the roc flies southwards, the water is smitten for a space of three thousand li around, while the roc itself mounts upon a great wind to a height of ninety thousand li”, one can feel the magnificent, majestic and magical power of the music. The work also tries to use rich contemporary music language to portray the romantic world in the verse of Zhuangzi “The universe and I came into being together; I and everything therein are One. ” 

 


Tan Dun      Passacaglia-Secret of Wind and Birds 


What is the hidden "Silk Road" between man and nature? Maybe only the wind and birds know…In the beginning, when human beings were first inventingmusic, we always looked for a way to talk to nature, to communicate with the birds and wind. Looking at ancient examples of Chinese music, there are so many compositions that imitate the sounds of nature and, specifically, birds. With this in mind, I decided to start by using six ancient Chinese instruments, the dizi, suona, erhu, zither and pipa, to record bird sounds that I had composed. I formatted the recording to be playable on cellphones, turning the devices into instruments and creating a poetic forest of digital birds. Leonardo da Vinci once said, “In order to arrive at knowledge of the motions of birds in the air, it is first necessary to acquire knowledge of the winds, which we will prove by the motions of water.” I immediately decided to take this idea of waves and water as a mirror to discover the motions of the wind and birds. In fact, the way birds fly, the way the wind blows, the way waves ripple … everything in nature has already provided me with answers. This work was commissioned by the National Youth Orchestra of USA for its China tour. In this "mobile phone symphony" Tan Dun aims at exploring the hidden "Silk Road" -- the hidden connections under surface disparities -- between man and nature, the East and the West.



Fung Lam(Hong Kong, China)  Quintessence


The Chinese title of the work (蕴) has two layers of meaning. It literally means ‘contain’, which refers to something of positive potential.  The deeper meaning relates to the concept of the Five Aggregates in Buddhism, namely form, sensation, perception, mental formations and consciousness, which are the core aspects shared by sentient beings of all shapes and forms.

 

The English title corresponds to a similar concept in ancient Greek philosophy. Quintessence is the fifth and the highest essence after the four elements of earth, air, fire and water, and thought to be the magical substance of gods and latent in all living things.

 

This concept, with its lively and positive character, served perfectly as the starting point of this work, written in celebration of HK Phil’s 40th anniversary. The composition consists of a series of short and contrasting sections which share the same handful of distinctive core musical elements, the most significant of which being the zigzag shaped melodic line, signifying the journey towards one’s goals.





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