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Lyrical Nocturne  [2019]

Opus number: EH.56

For : solo dizi, violin I, violin II, viola, cello, contrabass and piano 

Duration: ca. 6 min.

First performance : Shanghai Chamber Orchestra, Gao Jian, Conductor, The final concert of the 8th Rivers Awards Composition Competition, He Luting Concert Hall of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Shanghai, China, 2019


Lyrical Nocturne

Last winter, while on a break in Korea, I found myself overcome with feelings of extreme tension and desolation. Such were the products of the melancholy of living abroad, having to patiently withstand the weight of my own limitations!

At that time, it was a poem by Li Bai, "A Quiet Night Thought”, that touched my sensibility, influencing my inspiration for composing this work.

Serene beauty, delicate sensibility, elegant melody!
Dark night magnifies our emotions; gusts of cold air sharpen our senses.
Through the distant night, the sound of dizi is carried like a graceful scent, as the delicate sounds of instruments spread with poignant resonance.

The Lyrical Nocturne is written for the traditional Chinese bamboo flute dizi, whose lyrical melodies are accompanied by string quartet and piano, which help further reveal the immense beauty of the solo instrument’s sound. Beauty and charm are also the traits that characterise the melodies that were derived, and then modified, from a genre of traditional Korean music, Sujecheon.

A keen listener will discern quotations from works I turned to in my joyless moments to underscore and maximise my extreme melancholy: a nocturne by Chopin, Bach's violin sonata, or the 4th movement of Mahler's Symphony No. 5 - all of which entice one to enter the world of an unpredictable variety of sounds, a different dimension.

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