Exploring Chinese Solo/Small Ensemble Series #5

Ying Lee: Drinking Alone Under the Moon
Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra / Chih-Sheng Chen / National Recital Hall, Taipei, Taiwan 2011.4.24.
dizi: Zhiting Wu / pipa: Shihan Su / daruan: Jiyuan Zhong / yangqin: Shiyuan Wu / guzheng: Xinyin Zhang / erhu: Pei-Ting Ho

“Drinking Alone Under the Moon” comes from a poem of the same title by the famous Tang Dynasty poet Bai Li who was also a swordsman, wine lover, and Taoist. This piece is pensive and melancholic. The composer uses the performance of this small ensemble, with the dizi’s melody, to describe Bai Li’s solution to drinking alone: invite the moon and his shadow, his two companions, to a toast.

“Raising my cup, I invite the bright moon
and turn to my shadow. We are now three.”

(Trans: Kiah Mok Goh / Edit: Patty Chan)