Exploring Chinese Orchestral Music Series #5

Chingling Liu: Dawn and Dusk for Dizi and Orchestra
Dizi: Jiaying Lin, Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra and Tien Ku Percussion Group, Conductor: Shengwen Zhou. Da Dao Cheng Theatre, Taipei, Taiwan. 2018.7.21.

A new day begins when the dawn light pierces the darkness, and the day ends with a haze at dusk. We are used to the alternation of day and night as part of nature. But time slips along while we are immersed in our work, leaving ourselves exhausted. Realizing that time passes by us quietly, are we willing to slow down from our busy lives to admire the morning sunshine and to feel the evening mist?

This music is written for dizi and orchestra. It starts with a peaceful passage ad libitum (at the liberty of the performer); the loose tempo and flexible note lengths bring in the the first light of the day as the world gradually wakes to the morning.

Following is the adagio, where the land is lit in the morning sunshine; in it the reeds sway in the light breeze. The sound of the dizi connects us with all the things in the world, allowing us to feel both sadness and joy in them.

The third part is allegro, with the seemingly light-hearted music containing deep thoughts. The narrative style continues into the fourth section, where the piece is enriched with the use of harmonics.

In the final passage, the main theme reappears, the setting sun turning the clouds into all shades of red in the evening sky. As dusk marks the end of the day, we may feel a trace of sadness, but we also know morning will come and there is always a tomorrow. Understanding this as a never-ending cycle that everyone has to face, should we not put our mind at ease and look at this cycle casually?
(Translation: PYKwong)

gCO 小巨人絲竹樂團
天鼓擊樂團Tien-Ku Percussion Group
Chih-Sheng Chen