This “paradise” is a valley hidden away from the main path, surrounded by majestic mountains. It has neatly partitioned fields for various crops, and a few isolated small villages are spread out all over the valley. In the spring, the crops fill the valley with vibrant hues of yellow, green, blue, red and purple, resembling a piece of colourful fabric.
The main theme of “A Hidden Paradise” is taken from two well known pieces of music: “Rippling Brook” (小河淌水) and “An Unfamiliar Melody” (猜調). The timbre of the erhu is well suited to bring out the colour of the countryside and the voices of the people. This work describes the aspirations and happiness of the people living in this valley. It is subdivided into 4 movements.
1st Movement: The main theme and its variations are adapted from “Rippling Brook”. It describes life at daybreak, filled with energy and hope.
2nd Movement: This theme is adapted from “An Unfamiliar Melody”. The quick movement of the bow by the soloist together with the use of the 4/4 and 7/8 meters depicts the busy life of the farmers.
3rd Movement: This movement has a dance tempo, and describes the liveliness and joy of the villagers.
4th Movement: The main theme returns with a new variation that recaptures the beauty of this hidden paradise.
This work was commissioned by the the Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra and was sponsored by the French National Arts Council and the City of Taipei. It debuted on February 7, 2015 at the Taipei National Concert Hall.
(Trans: Calvin Chan, Edit: Patty Chan)