TO THE NEW MILLENNIUM
About this work:
Commissioned by Miami University, through the project Music at Miami for the Millennium Harmonizing Excellentce, Hearing Diversity funded by a Miami University President’s Academic Enrichment Award (1998), the choral work To The New Millennium with soprano and mezzo soprano soloists is written for and dedicated to The Chamber Singers, The Miami University Choraliers, The Men’s Glee Club and The Collegiate Chorale at the Miami University, premiered on 4/14/2002. The work consists three movements: Happy Rain on a Spring Night (for two soloists and mixed choir), Love Seeds (for mezzo soprano and chamber choir), and Looking at the Sea (for two soloists and mixed choir that is divided to two groups responding to each other), all sung in Chinese. The text is chosen from three ancient Chinese poems. It’s like the welcome rain on a spring night that nurtures the budding seeds, our new society is pushing us forward to the new century. Our new culture is blooming and flourishing, while we remember fondly our love and glory in the past. The sea keeps running forever, which symbolizes the human history that carries us towards the bright future. The poems have timeless subjects and meaningful imaginations. I set them to music, to share with my singers and audience. The total duration of the work is about 10 minutes.
Text (English translation by Chen Yi)
1. Happy Rain on a Spring Night, by Du Fu (712-770)
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.
2. Love Seeds, by Wang Wei (701-761)
Red berries grow in southern land,
Buds appear in spring on the trees;
Glean them more and more in your apron,
They are the best for reviving fond memories.
3. Looking at the Sea, by Cao Cao (155-220)
Up to the stony hill on eastern shore,
I am looking at the boundless sea.
The water is running calm,
And islands stand in between.
Tree on tree grows from peak to peak;
Grass on grass looks lush layer upon layer.
When the autumn wind blows drear and bleak;
The waves surge up greater and greater.
The sun by day, the moon by night,
Appear to rise up from the deep.
The Milky Way with stars looked so bright,
It comes out all the way from the sea.
How happy I feel at this scene!
Ode to the sea that symbolizes my ideal.
Version: Mixed choir with 2 female soloists, sung in Chinese
Year composed: 2001
Ensemble type: Chorus, with or without Solo Voices
Instrumentation notes: Mixed choir with soprano and mezzo-soprano soloists. Presser Publication [312-41818], 2002, $5.95