Chen Yi

About this work:

Commissioned by the University of Missouri School of Music in Columbia, MO, my choral work

The Beautiful West Lake is composed for and premiered by the University Singers directed by

Prof. Paul Crabb on Oct. 24, 2015. The lyric is taken from a poem The West Lake written by a

famous ancient Chinese poet Su Dong-po (1036-1101) in 1073 (Song Dynasty).


The brimming waves delight the eye on sunny days,

The dimming hills give a rare view in rainy haze.

The West Lake looks like the fair lady at her best,

Whether she is richly adorned or plainly dressed.


The shinning waves in the lake, and the drizzling rains on the hills form a colorful landscape of the

West Lake. It is presented by simple pentatonic melodies, with cluster harmonies and a pattern of

reciting nonsense syllables in the background in my choral piece. The sound and voices in the

music convey the feeling of enjoying the nature, which symbolizes the beauty in Southeast China,

whose presence is just so natural and perfect.

Version: for mixed choir
Year composed: 2015
Duration: 00:03:00
Ensemble type: Chorus, with or without Solo Voices

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