Exploring Chinese Orchestral Repertoire Series #41

Chih-Hsuan Liu: Heard 1960

Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra, Tien-Ku Percussion Group / Chih-Sheng Chen / National Concert Hall, Taipei, Taiwan / Video: Jacob Audio and Video Arts, Jacob Chang / Audio: Chao-Hui Wang. 2019.08.28

This piece was commissioned by the Beijing National Orchestra. It was inspired by the dizi solo “Spring Morning at Yang Ming Mountain,” which was originally called “Peach Blossoms in March” and was composed by Yung-Shen Tung in 1960. It describes the beautiful scenery at Yangming Mountain. A fragment of the work was also used as the theme song for the Chinese language teaching program “The Daily Character,” and thus became one of the most familiar Chinese music repertoires in Taiwan. It was considered to be one of the “20th Century Chinese Classics”.

The composer adapted the main theme of “Spring Morning at Yang Ming Mountain” into this work. Liu reinterpreted traditional music with romantic and modern composition methods so that the music has a modern flavour without losing its traditional style. The original melody evokes a sense of familiarity. This piece symbolizes the dialogue between the two generations in musical thinking and aesthetics. With this piece, the composer tries to develop and promote a new form of modern Chinese music that represents a unique style in Taiwan’s national music.

(Translation: Calvin Chan / Edit: Patty Chan)