Chen Yi

About this work:
CHEN Yi: FOUNTAINS OF KC (2011) for Orchestra. We are in the city of fountains, and the word KC represents Kansas City, as well as the Kauffman Center. In my music, I express my excitement and impression inspired by the beautiful scenes of our city, which is rich with landmark fountains, to celebrate the opening of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in 2011. Commissioned by the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation, in support of the Friends of the UMKC Conservatory’s 2009 Crescendo benefit gala, the work is premiered by the Kansas City Symphony (led by its Music Director Michael Stern on Sept. 23, 2011 at Helzberg Hall in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri. Scored for full orchestra, the duration of the work is about ten minutes. There are two major motives in the piece. The first one is taken from the image and gesture of water spurting. It’s presented in my music by a group of strings with long and short sliding tone clusters. The material is being heard several times, serving as a frame of the musical structure, which leads our imaginations traveling to a different scene, from one to the other – mysterious, imaginative, colorful, playful, spiritual, and magnificent towards the end. The second is an energetic ascending 4-note thematic material, E-D-A-B, constructed by a minor seventh (2 perfect fourths overlapped) and a major second, to symbolize the lively city and our people. The melodic style is drawn from the folk music of Shaanxi province in China, where the first emperor was located. The eastern end of the ancient Silk Road, Xi’an is the capital of the province. It’s also a Sister City of Kansas City. INSTRUMENTATION (Transposed Score): Piccolo, 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, English Horn (in F), 2 Clarinets (in Bb), Bass Clarinet (in Bb), 2 Bassoons, Contrabassoon; 4 Horns (in F), 3 Trumpets (in C), 2 Trombones, Bass Trombone, Tuba; Timpani: 5 chromatic; Percussion as follows: 1: glockenspiel, marimba; 2: triangle, mark-tree, suspended cymbal, tam-tam; 3: piccolo wood block, claves, Beijing Opera gong (7"), bass drum; Harp; Violins I (16), Violins II (14), Violas (12), Violoncellos (10), Contrabasses (6)
Version: Full orchestra
Year composed: 2011
Duration: 00:10:00
Ensemble type: Orchestra

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