Chen Yi

About this work:
Caramoor's Summer (2003) [ca. 13 minutes] Chen Yi Commissioned jointly by the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts and the Orchestra of St. Luke's to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Orchestra's founding at the Caramoor International Music Festival in Katonah, and premiered by the Orchestra of St. Luke's, conducted by Peter Oundjian, on 7/27/2003, the orchestral work Caramoor's Summer is a lyrical tone poem inspired by the wonderful summer landscapes in America. Since I have spent many summers in the New England area where the Carammor Festival is located as composer-in-residence or guest professor at various music festivals, my husband, composer Zhou Long has driven me thousand miles in the countryside from June to August every year, we enjoy very much the beautiful nature, the rivers and the mountains, the grass and the animal, the warm farmers and their grain field, the fresh air and the sereneness... In my new piece, one could hear sweet melodies and their fragments, the rich sonority presented by the chamber orchestra (with various textures in different instrumental groupings), and, the Chinese mountain song-improvisational singing-like melody, which expresses my happiness in the open air, in a celebrating voice. The work is scored for 2 flutes (2nd doubling piccolo), 2 oboes, 2 clarinets (in Bb), 2 bassoons, 2 French horns (in F), trumpet (in Bb), trombone, timpani (doubling small bell and tam-tam) and 2 percussionists (I. suspended cymbal, gongs, temple block; II. glockenspiel, triangle & snare drum), harp & strings. I have applied the Golden Section principle to construct the piece. Without changing the tempo in general, I have divided the total 240 measures of music (in four four beat) into two sections, which have 144 measures (first section) and 96 measures (second section). The major Golden Section falls onto the beginning of measure 145 where the climax of the piece arrives. The numbers of measures are calculated approximately according to the proportions applied within the Golden Section principle. Therefore, the two sections of music have subdivisions including 86 measures +58 measures, and 38 measures [rehearsal F] +58 measures. The further subdivision of the first 86 measures includes 52 + 34 [rehearsal C], and the portion of 52 includes 31 [rehearsal A] + 21 [rehearsal B]. The further subdivision of the 58 measures in the first section includes 35 [rehearsal D] + 23 [rehearsal E]. The further subdivision of the last 58 measures includes 22 [rehearsal G] + 36 [rehearsal H], and the portion of 22 includes 8 +14, and 36 includes 22 + 14. Following the rehearsal marks, I have divided the music into three parts, according to the application and development of the pitch materials: Part A has 52 measures (rehearsal marks A and B), using pitch material [a]; Part B has 92 measures (rehearsal C + D + E), using pitch material [b], [c], and [b']; Part A' has 96 measures, using pitch material [a'] (rehearsal F), [a"] (rehearsal G), and [a'" + b"] (rehearsal H). I have used the same principle to design the texture change in my orchestration. After the beginning of the piece, the music reaches the first peak at rehearsal B, the new pitch material is introduced at rehearsal C, tutti is used in D, voices adding up in E, until it gets to the climax in F, then it starts to decrease in G, finally, the conclusion is in H. The work is dedicated to Ms. Frances Richard, Vice President and Director of Concert Music Department of ASCAP for her great contribution to the new music field and her consistent support to living composers in America, with the composer's deep admiration and respect.
Version: Chamber orchestra
Year composed: 2003
Duration: 00:13:00
Ensemble type: Orchestra:Chamber Orchestra
Instrumentation notes: 2(1 Picc.)-2-2-2; 2-1-1-0; Hp., 3Perc., Str.

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