SPRING IN DRESDEN
About this work:
The violin concerto is commissioned by Friends of Dresden Music Foundation for American soloist Mira Wang and the New York Philharmonic and Staatskapelle Dresden as an American commemoration of the reconstruction of the Dresden Frauenkirche, 60 years after its destruction in World War II by American and British Forces. The world premiere is given at the Semperoper in Dresden, Germany, on October 9, 10 & 11, 2005, conducted by Ivan Fischer.
Full of excitement and inner power, the musical image is vivid, energetic, sometimes lyrical and sometimes dramatic. The major angular thematic material (a three note motive) consists of big leaps in interval (a perfect fourth downward and then a minor seventh upward, first introduced by the violin solo in measures 27-29). Except for the cadenzas which stand at the middle (Rehearsal E, measure 127) and the two ends of the piece as a frame, the virtuosic violin solo line is always accompanied by the ever moving and growing textures in the background. The rests between long and short phrases symbolize the space in Chinese paintings. The Beijing Opera reciting tune, and the fingerings to produce sliding tones in the performance of the Chinese fiddle erhu are also borrowed in the writing and the performing of the western instruments.
The musical imagination of the violin concerto came from an ancient Chinese poem with the same title, written by Du Fu (712-770) in Tang Dynasty.
Happy Rain on a Spring Night
by Du Fu (712-770 in Tang Dynasty)
Happy rain comes in time,
When spring is in its prime.
With night breeze it will fall,
And quietly moisten all.
Clouds darken wild roads,
Light brightens a little boat.
Saturated at dawn,
With flowers blooming the town.
(English translation by Chen Yi from the original poem in Chinese)
Version: Violin concerto
Year composed: 2005
Ensemble type: Orchestra:Chamber Orchestra with Soloist(s)
Instrumentation notes: 2(Picc)222, 4231, Hp, T, P(2), Violin Solo, Str