Lady Huang’s album : four pieces for double manual harpsichord
by Diana Blom (1984)
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The four pieces of Lady Huang's Album are influenced by music of the seven-string long Chinese zither, the ch'in, an instrument Confucius is said to have played and composed for. Both the ch'in and the harpsichord require careful tuning by the performer so two of the short pieces are stylised 'tunings'. The 'Lament' was influenced by 'Ch'ang Men Yüan' (Lament at the Ch'ang-men Palace), a composition for ch'in from the Chu-ch'eng ch'in school written by Ssu-ma Hsiang-ju during the reign of Han Wu-ti telling of the great sadness, oppression and confinement of Empress Ch'en. The Lament is from A Chinese Zither Tutor. 'Flute playing in a summer shower' is a descriptive piece, part of which employs a systematic subtractive process. Playing techniques idiomatic to the ch'in and Chinese scales are incorporated into the four pieces.
Instrumentation: Double manual harpsichord.
Dedication note: dedicated to Grace Wei Huang
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