All of the works on this programme are taken from traditional Chinese repertoires and feature traditional Chinese instruments with a special focus on music from the Tang Dynasty. This programme is designed as an introduction to Chinese classical music for EMV’s audience. Though the Vancouver-based musicians of Silk Road Music Ensemble are not playing on period instruments, in collaboration with EMV, they have begun to explore the notion of historically informed performance practice for future seasons. They are already in the process of making contact with specialists in China who we plan to co-present in Vancouver in coming seasons.
Access to the concert is free, but donations are greatly appreciated. Concert will remain online one year from premiere date.
This concert is generously supported by Agnes Hohn, an anonymous donor, and Chris Guzy & Mari Csemi
This concert is part of EMV’s new series, Passports: Early Music from Around the World
How to watch:
ONLINE: Watch the concert online by clicking here
This concert is available to watch for free thanks to the generosity of donors. To support our programming by making a tax-deductible donation, click here.
Concert will remain online one year from premiere date
平湖秋⽉ Autumn Moonlight on the Ping Lake
賽⾺ Horse Race
春江花⽉夜 Spring, River and Flower under the Moonlight
陽春古曲 Snowflakes in the Early Spring
神⼈暢 Invocation Song
陽關三疊 Farewell at Yang Guan in Three Stanzas
百⿃朝鳳 Hundred Birds and Phoenix
安樂鹽 Peace Song
平湖秋⽉ Ping Hu Qiu Yue
Autumn Moonlight on the Ping Lake
Folk Music Arr. Zhimin Yu Sheng, Dizi, Pipa, Erhu, Ruan
From Guang Dong province, this is an instrumental style dating from the early 20th century. These melodies are well loved by ordinary people all over China.
賽⾺ Sai Ma
Erhu, Pipa, Sheng, Ruan, Muyu
A showpiece for solo Erhu composed in 1964. The music vividly demonstrates the excitement and character of the horse race in Mongolian traditions.
春江花⽉夜 Chun Jiang Hua Yue Ye
Spring, River and Flower under the Moonlight
Sheng, Xiao, Pipa, Erhu, Ruan
The earliest Pipa work from《鞠⼠林》1860 under different titles. In 1925, it was arranged for Chinese orchestra. We are playing a version intended for Silk and Bamboo Music from south of the Yanzi river. It is one of the famous pieces in Chinese Wenqu (lyrical style).
陽春古曲 Yang Chun Gu Qu
Snowflakes in the Early Spring
卫仲樂 (1908-1997) 譜 Traditional, Ruan adaptation by Zhimin Yu
This piece has been documented and played since 1860. With the uplifting sense of Spring coming, and Winter ending.
神⼈暢 Shen Ren Chang
Invocation Song Traditional
One of a few rare pieces from the Guqin repertoire called “Chang”. When the piece is presented in a ceremony, it invites the divine to earth to provide harmony for humans.
陽關三疊 Yan Guan San Die
Farewell at Yang Guan in Three Stanzas
Tang poetry by Wang Wei (701-761)
《琴学⼊⻔》1864. Traditional Guqin, Xiao and Voice
Earliest known music score is from 明代1491《浙⾳释字琴谱》
“Farewell at Yang Guan in Three Stanzas” (Wang Wei) July 2020 Translation by Dr. Jan Walls
In Wei City dust is settled by early morning rain. The willows by the tavern turn fresh green again. Come on friend, down another cup of wine with me. West of Yang Gate there’ll be no old friends to see.
The season is spring, in Wei City dust is settled by early morning rain. The willows by the tavern turn fresh green again. Come on friend, down another cup of wine with me. West of Yang Gate there’ll be no old friends to see.
Frosty mornings, frosty nights, hurry on your way, pass through key points on the long trail. The sadness of military life, so much toil, so much toil, oh so much toil! Do take care, do take care!
In Wei City dust is settled by early morning rain. The willows by the tavern turn fresh green again. Come on friend, down another cup of wine with me. West of Yang Gate there’ll be no old friends to see. Can’t bear to say goodbye, sleeves soaked in tears. We can help each other better ourselves no more, I’ll think of you, think of you 24 hours a day. With boundaries keeping us apart, who to rely upon, who to rely upon, who can we rely upon?
All day my soul will race to you.
In Wei City dust is settled by early morning rain. The willows by the tavern turn fresh green again. Come on friend, down another cup of wine with me. West of Yang Gate there’ll be no old friends to see. Carpets of green grass all around, fine wine, fine wine, makes us feel mellow before we even drink. Hasten your steed, hasten your steed, when will your carriage return? How many patrols can you drink through? A thousand patrols will finally conclude, but heartfelt feelings will never end. Endless heartache, so far apart, hoping for letters to come soon. Letters will tell, letters will tell, letters will frequently tell, attachment so deep, attachment so deep. Oh, after our farewell today, our feelings will be felt in frequent dreams, waiting for word to arrive.
百⿃朝鳳 Bai Niao Chao Feng
Hundred Birds and Phoenix
Folk Music by Ren Tong Xiang Arr. By Zhong Xi Wu Suona, Dizi, Pipa, Erhu, Ruan
Suona solo piece originating from folk traditions of Wind and Drum Music. In 1953, it was introduced in a stage performance. It is a difficult piece that requires complete mastery of the instrument.
安樂鹽 An Yue Yan
Tang Court Music (600-800 AD)
Sheng/Bili, Dizi, Zheng, Pipa, Erhu, Ruan,Percussion
An intro piece before the musicians and dancers appear.
The Japanese sources about 1200 AD. We use the staff notation of “Music from the Tang Court,” vol. 6, ed. Laurence E. R. Picken. Cambridge University Press, 1997 (thanks to Dr. Steven Nelson and David Badagnani for sharing this information).
This is the first step for the ensemble to learn how to bring the Tang Court Music to life with the musical instruments of today. A further study and possibility of obtaining the period instruments will help us to present Early Music of China in a more historical format in the future.
Silk Road Music
A Vancouver based ensemble that bridges classical Chinese music to the practices of the 21st century. Since 1991, it has performed hundreds of concerts in many parts of the World. From festivals, universities and with symphony orchestras, its artistic direction reflects the fundamental desire of each musician to strive for discovery.
Qiu Xia He 何秋霞：Artistic director⾳樂總監/Pipa琵琶/Voice歌唱
Yun Song 宋云：Erhu⼆胡
Zhi Min Yu 于志敏： Ruan阮
Zhong Xi Wu 吴忠喜：Suona唢呐/Sheng笙/Bili
Charlie Lui 呂畇初：Dizi笛⼦/Xiao箫/Xun埙
Min Lin 林敏：Guqin古琴/Guzheng古箏
Andre Thibault： Percussion打擊樂