Blooms late when spring is gone... : for solo erhu
by Bruce Crossman (2016)
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Library shelf no. 787.6/CRO 1 [Available for loan]
Blooms late when spring is gone... takes its departure point from Lindy Li Mark English translation of the Young Lovers' Edition Peony Pavilion in its discussion of the metaphor of the peony as late a blooming of the possibilities within the beauty of dreams. The ghost of the Chinese opera Kunqu tune "Zao Luopao" from the Peony Pavilion hovers about as sonority possibilities within a slow melodic unfolding to ghostly harmonic moments and energy, that reveals the bones of the tune and its sonority relationship to Japanese Gagaku harmony. Structurally, the first section has fragments of the tune appear with stretched still moments that gradually focuses to the second section's faster, energetic permeations of the material within horse-bowing sounds, vibrato and expressive slides as well as frenetically free high passages. Again, in the third section, ghostly versions of the Kunqu tune appear in sketchy harmonics which are propelled to a climactic fourth section of bends, vibrato and frenetic activity; these suddenly collapse to a returning dream-like breathy and still harmonics to close the work in a lingering way.
Duration: 5 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Complex rhythmic detail and changing colour nuances
Written for: Ying Liu
Commission note: Written in celebration of the birth of the new research centre at Western Sydney University; Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture.
The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc. associated with this work:
Chinese opera (Kunqu), Morin Khuur (horse-head fiddle) and Qin musics, Japanese Gagaku harmony and free jazz improvisation (Medeski Martin & Wood)
Performances of this work
20 Jul 2017: at NIGHT CONCERT - Erhu, Qin, Guzheng & Percussion (The Playhouse, WSU Penrith).
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