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Five Chinese Poems by Ya Hsien

Classical/Vocal music • 2007 • Lyricist: Ya Hsien
 
     
 

Five Chinese Poems by Ya Hsien


10.00 USD

PDF, 7.65 Mb ID: SM-000060640 Upload date: 15 Mar 2011
Instrumentation
Piano, Baritone
Scored for
Solo, Accompanying piano
Type of score
Piano-vocal score
Publisher
Man-Ching Donald Yu
Language
Chinese
Difficulty
Medium
Duration
15'0
In the spring of 2007, writer-in-residence Mr. Ya Hsien commissioned me to set five of his poems to music. The whole set of art songs comprises five different contrasting dramatic poems. Each piece follows the poetic meaning and images behind each poem. Theoretically speaking, the harmonic language of the art songs is the results of the amalgamation and synthesis of ancient Eastern musical concepts and pitch system and Western musical concepts. The ancient Eastern musical concept is generally based on the Tai Chi composition system in which pitches and scales are
formed systematically in corresponding to the ancient Chinese philosophical Tai Chi hexagram according to music theorist Zhao Xiao Sheng.
The first poem, The Feeling of the Far Ocean describes the poet recalling his memories while traveling on a ship during his journey. The music begins with an extremely subtle introduction while the music arrives at a more calm state in the middle section, symbolizing the continuous flowing of time. The music fades away quietly at the end. The second poem, The Voyage of Death depicts the poet’s awful feeling towards his traveling on the sea during the thirteenth day, and thus the music tends to be more chromatic and dramatic in character. In the third poem Recitation in the Stratum, poet imagines that he can dive into the underground world for an away from the outside world. Numerous natural scenes are described in the poem. In the introduction of the piece, the music attempts to reflect profound and deep emotion as if diving into an underground world. The lower registered motivic uprising figure in the introduction is modified and recurs several times in the piece for coherence. The fourth poem Song, recalls the subtle expression in the first piece. The poem comprises four stanzas and in each stanza, the poet wonders who is this distant and sad person. Melodic variation and pitch permutation take place in each stanza. In the last piece The Morning, begins with flowing vocal lines and they become more recitative-like as the music goes on and the musical textures in the piano part become more pointillistic. Interludes and postludes are introduced by the piano solo in the piece which recalls the subtle and flowing vocal thematic line at the beginning. This poem fully expresses
the poet’s longing to meet his beloved in a far off land.
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