The musical program of the Grand Chinese New Year Concert tour 2014

The program of the tour is composed by the orchestra, like every year, to specifically demonstrate the specialities of the region from which the orchestra comes. Each region in China has its own musical tradition with different sounds and contents. This year, the orchestra comes from the province ZHEJIANG from the province capital HANGZHOU, which is an old Emporer city of China. The province is famous for its beautiful landscape, especially for the Yellow Mountains, and for being China's core tea producing area for green tea leaves.

"Once in a lifetime visit Hangzhou" is a Chinese saying and it refers to the beauty of the city at the east coast of China. Its climate is mild and humid, the population extremely friendly. The large inner-city lake ("Xi Hu" - Westlake) dominates the leisure life of the Hangzhou people.

The Great Chinese New Year Concert 2014 in its tour is visiting the finest concert halls in Europe, but one of them is very special: The old farm house of Gut Varrel in the municipality of Stuhr, close to Bremen. Stuhr adopted this concert in 2005 for the first time, and since then is supporting the performance which became widely known in the area as a fixed date of high culture experience. Meanwhile a great fan community visits the concert every year, and the local cable TV organisations are reporting about the concert as well as newspapers and magazines in and around Stuhr.

  • artists of the program

    The first Part

     

    1 - Dabo River Capriccio

    Dabo River is a river in the Northwest of the Sichuan province. This piece of music desribes the ethnic habits of this region and the daily life of the people living around the river.

    2 - The Great Tree of the Erudite

    There is a famous pilgrimage place in the Shanxi province where people go to to remember and honor their ancestors. The center of this place is a huge old tree. The saying goes: "If you asked me where my ancestors live, just go and find the big locust tree of Hongtong County in Shanxi Province". The music describes how the pilgrims go there and worship their ancestors, sunken into the depth of searching for their own roots.

    3 - Cloud over the rainbow

    Guzheng concerto, Solist: Su Chang

    In the Tang Dynasty there was a poem of Li Bai about the concubine of the Tang Emperor Xuanzong, the pretty "Lady Yang" Yang Guifei. In the verses you read: "Clouds remind me of her clothes, flowers remind me of her face. I long so much for my beloved one, in this world nothing is so valuable like love." This subject is often worked with in the Chinese art, in drawings, poems, operas, music. This piece expresses the deep emotions of the emperor, with a fragile musical theme, played by the Guzheng, that goes into your heart and lets the audience empethize the deep feelings.

    This wonderful piece of music was also played in the last year Grand Chinese New Year Concert and can now be heard with the emphasis of the Southern sound of the Traditional Chinese Orchestra Zhejiang. Those who can compare will find the fragile and sweet differences extracted by the conductor Zhang Lie and the soloist Su Chang.

    4 - The King's Farewell to His Lady ("Farewell my Concubine")

    Soloist Singer: Zheng Peijing

    The conductor of this concert tour, Zhang Lie himself, made the special arrangement of this Chinese Opera aria to make it available in a tour concert of the China Traditional Orchestra Zhejiang. Chinese operas are normally performed with very small groups of musicians, but in this concert the singer Zheng Peijing is accompanied by a big orchestra. This is the first time in the history of the tour of the Grand Chinese New Year Concert that a Chinese Opera aria is performed. The opera contains the tragic love between General Xiang Yu and his beautiful and very intelligent concubine Yu Ji who discusses with her lover how to save the country totally defeated in a last struggle in which Yu Ji sacrifices herself for saving the country. This very traditional story is based on historical legends and in its traditional pentatonic melodies is very heart touching and emotional.

    It should be noted that the music is totally unrelated to the soundtrack of the famous film "Farewell, my Concubine". The soundtrack of the film is western style music and not Chinese traditional music. The piece played and to be sung in the concert, however, is the original Chinese pentatonic music.

    5 - The Silk Road

    The ancient trading road from the Mediterranean to China, called "Silk Road", consists of several different paths through China and leads to breathtaking environments. The legend goes that a man took his son for a travel along the Silk Road, just to see once in his life the beauty of this way. The father, being a painter artist, made a lot of drawings and paintings during the travel and explained everything to his son. The son was so impressed that this travel influenced all his life. This kind of traditional Chinese "symphony" tells the story of travel along the Silk Road and describes its beauty. Different instruments leading the melody symbolize the different cultures found along the road, just like the melodious theme and the rhythm does. It is a very enjoyable colorful music about this ever so famous Silk Road.

    Intermission

     

  • Orchestra, fluitplayer and female singer

    The second part

     

    6 - Dwelling the Fu Chun Mountains

    This music is composed for turning an utmost famous Chinese painting into music and had its première performance in the opening ceremony of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China in 2013. The famous paining was made by one of the "Four Masters of the Yuan Dynasty", Huang Guangwang, and its huge dimensions of 7 meters long was made between 1348 and 1350 and later separated into two pieces, of which one can be seen in the Zhejiang Provincial Museum in Hangzhou, the other one in Taibei. It is description of the beauty of the Zhejiang Province landscape.

    Out of this music three movements will be played:

    Movement 3: Listening to the Wind. Bushes and trees are bent when the winds blow over them, creating ever changing sounds which reverberate in the wide landscape, where fishermen and woodcutters sit still and devoted to listen and enjoy.

    Movement 2: Flowing Water, Floating Clouds. Through the winding roads circling around the valleys, the composer suggests that only once reached the summit you will be able to grasp the beauty of life and comprehend the great wisdom hiding within the landscape.

    Movement 4: Introverted Reality. The music is reflecting the peace and harmony in nature and symbolizes the simplicity teached by the Zen Buddhism.

    7 - The legend of Shadil

    This is a piece of contemporary Chinese traditional music. It was composed in 1988 and refers to a famous singer in the Qing Dynasty. The singer, whose name was Shadil, created a large number of songs to express opposition to the Qing Dynasty policy and their rulers. He was persecuted and finally sentenced to death and killed. After his death, his songs survived and became very popular among Chinese people as an expression of free mind and the liberty to speak.

    The music combines modern structures of music with traditional elements, thus using the sound of traditional instruments in a more contemporary way. This indicates a development from old to new, from feudal to democratic, from traditional to contemporate, but always from heart to heart. The music is considered a masterpiece of traditional music in China. < /p>

    Encores

    The orchestra, like all artist groups, is nourished by the audience's applause for encores. This is not different in this concert. The encores are short pieces from the typical Chinese repertoire. Among these is normally also a piece, regularly as a second encore, which is a specially arranged German folk song. This shall bring the sound of a well known melody to the audience in a new dress, and so it lets become clearer - in its unification with the sounds of Chinese traditional instruments and specific Chinese arrangement - the emotional character of Chinese music. Look forward to recognize the song.

    Composer Liu Yuan

    The composer Liu Yuan, who composed the capriccio of the Fu Chun Mountains and the Legend of Shadil, attends this years' performances. In his capacity he is in close contact with the conductor and the director of the orchestra. His attendance of the performances is indicating the high quality of the program.

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