Chen Yi

About this work:
Commissioned by the Ithaca College School of Music for the Ithaca College Choral Series, the composition Spring Dreams is written for mixed choir, premiered by Ithaca College Choir, directed by Prof. Lawrence Doebler on Saturday, Nov. 15, 1997. The music is a setting of the poem Spring Dreams by Meng Hao-ran (689-740, Tang Dynasty), sung in Chinese. In the beginning of the piece, a several groups of ostinato are brought in gradually in various tempos, imitating the vivid pulse and the birds singing everywhere around, accompanying a fresh melody in Beijing Opera speech-singing style, sung by the soprano section. The music brings us the excitement and happiness being in spring. There is a turning point in the middle of the poem, when the poet clearly woke up from his sweet dream by hearing the bird singing, he realized that many flowers must have been ruined by the whole night long wind and showers. He really sympathized the falling petals and treasured the beautiful spring time. The music is brought to a climax by expressively repeating the words from the last line of the poem: "Know you how many petals falling?" Singing the melody in unison towards the end, we are deeply immersed into wordless sorrow, while the bird singing sounds like crying in the air... Spring dreams unconscious of dawning, Not woke up till I hear birds singing; O night long wind and showers -- Know you how many petals falling?
Version: Mixed choir, sung in Chinese
Year composed: 1997
Duration: 00:05:00
Ensemble type: Chorus, with or without Solo Voices:Chorus, Unaccompanied
Instrumentation notes: Mixed Chorus. Presser Publication [312-41745], 1999, $1.50

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