Chen Yi

About this work:
The poet Su Dongpo (another name Su Shi, 1036-1101), great civil servant and literati of the Song Dynasty. He was educated by his mother. In the highest Imperial examination his composition caused the chief examiner to grow jealous. At court his honesty soon made him enemies who contrived to exile him or make him take outside posts. Wherever he went he left indelible marks of his character either in public works or literary associations. A philosophic mind allayed his bitterness, even when banished as remote as to Hainan Island. His genius was such that equally in prose or verse or song or drawing or calligraphy his work was first-class, a feat unapproached by any other Chinese artist in history. My composition The West Lake for mixed chorus features 9 voices specifically written for Chicago a cappella. I've designed a texture of multi layers with fragmented pitch materials sung in the beginning, the middle and the end of the piece, in which I used music sonority to imagine the brimming waves on the beautiful lake. The text sometimes is sung polyphonically, sometimes in chorale form. The melodic design is in Chinese opera singing and reciting style. The music of The West Lake is more lyrical and delicate, while the other work Landscape is more active and dramatic, according to the scenes described in the poems. One can put these two pieces together as a pair of poems and choral works with contrast. Landscape and The West Lake (Two Sister Works for Mixed Chorus) Poems by Su Dong-Po (written in 1072 &1073) Music by Chen Yi (both composed in spring of 2003) Landscape for mixed chorus (2003) Chen Yi Commissioned by ACFEA Tour Consultants for the Kansas City Chorale, my choral work Landscape is a contribution to the Chorus America, dedicated to and premiered by the KC Chorale, led by Charles Bruffy, at the Chorus America's 25th anniversary convention in Kansas City, on June 5, 2003. The text of Landscape is an ancient Chinese poem written by Su Dong-po (1036-1101) in 1072 (Song Dynasty), sung in Chinese. Like spilt ink dark clouds spread o'er the hills as a pall; Like bouncing pearls the raindrops in the boat run riot. A sudden rolling gale comes and dispels them all, Below Lake View Pavilion sky-mirrored water's quiet.
Version: Mixed choir, sung in Chinese
Year composed: 2003
Duration: 00:03:00
Ensemble type: Chorus, with or without Solo Voices:Chorus, Unaccompanied
Instrumentation notes: Mixed Chorus

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