Chen Yi

About this work:
Romance and Dance (1995/97/98) for two violins & string orchestra Alternate version for violin and piano (1999) The piece consists of two movements, which are two independent pieces written for two violins and string orchestra. The first movement Romance is originally entitled Romance of Hsiao and Ch'in, dedicated to Maestro Yehudi Menuhin and Edna Michell for Yehudi's 80'th birthday celebration concert at Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center Festival on August 11, 1996, premiered by Shlomo Mintz & Elmar Oliveira with Orchestra of St. Luke's, conducted by Menuhin. It's written for western instruments which will reproduce the sound and style of hsiao and ch'in -- the Chinese traditional instruments. Hsiao is a vertical bamboo flute, which carries lyrical melodies through delicate lines, grace notes and silence. Ch'in is a two thousand year old Chinese 7-string zither, which has a rich repertoire in the history of Chinese music and literature. In Ch'in performance, it produces various articulations by different fingerings of plucking and vibratos, played with both hands. These two instruments are often played together, and produce a good balance for sonority and timbre. In the Romance of Hsiao and Ch'in, the two violin solo parts transmit a lyrical sense to express the composer's love for humanities, while the string orchestra part sounding like an enlarged Ch'in symbolizes the nature. The second movement Dance is adapted from the third movement of my quintet Fiddle Suite (1997), which is originally commissioned by Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University for Kronos Quartet and Chinese fiddles (huqin). In Dance, the featured leading violin soli part plays very fast moving lines while the string orchestra plays the supporting dissonant harmonic progressions. The image came from the dancing ink on paper in Chinese calligraphy and the fiery moving gestures of the Chinese ancient women dancers. The pitch material is drawn from Beijing Opera tunes. The two movements have been adapted for string orchestra, entitled Romance and Dance, premiered by Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra on December 12, 1998, conducted by Maestro Dennis Russell Davies, and recorded on Bis [CD1352] by Cho-liang Lin and Suzanne Hou as solo violinists, and the Singapore Symphony's string section, conducted by Maestro Lan Shui, released in 2003. The violin and piano version is completed in 1999, and became an ABRSM Selected Composition, Associated Board, Royal Schools of Music, UK, 2005 – 2008.
Version: Two violins and string orchestra
Year composed: 1998
Duration: 00:09:00
Ensemble type: Orchestra:String Orchestra with Soloist(s)
Instrumentation notes: Two solo violinists and string orchestra. Alt. version for violin and piano, published by Theodore Presser Company [114-41080], 2001, $17

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