Xiaogang Ye - Symphony no.3 ‘Chu’, The Last Paradise
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Cat No: BIS2083
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 27th May 2016
ArtistsRoyal Philharmonic Orchestra
Hila Plitmann (soprano)
Cho-Liang Lin (violin)
In 2002 Ye was commissioned to write a symphony in celebration of the Wuhan Orchestra’s tenth anniversary. The city of Wuhan is situated in what was once the ancient State of Chu (c. 1030–224 BC), which has lent its name to the work. ‘Chu’ consists of seven movements, during which Chinese instruments such as the pipa (Chinese lute), sheng (mouth organ) and the erhu (‘Chinese violin’) appear alongside the traditional symphony orchestra. Two movements also include a wordless soprano part.
A personal inspiration informs The Last Paradise, a work which may initially seem a response to the Western violin concerto, but is in fact more akin to a late-Romantic tone poem. Here, Ye has drawn from his experiences during the Cultural Revolution, when he was deported to a small village. Conditions were so harsh that the villagers used to celebrate deaths instead of mourning them, considering death the escape from a painful life and the start of a journey towards a final paradise.
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