Programme Notes

    “An’ the dawn comes up like thunder”.
    This famous line found in Rudyard Kipling’s Mandalay seems apt as a description to how dawn breaks in this piece, written for solo pipa with Chinese chamber ensemble accompaniment.
    The first section, with a pulsing rhythm held in the orchestra, is guided by explosive passages of the pipa. It serves as a rude awakening into a bustling environment, right after the quietness depicted in the short introduction. The second section is a melodious one, where the pipa winds in and out of the ensemble to take on both lead and accompaniment roles. Following a cadenza by the soloist, the third section is a recapitulation of the first, with both the virtuosic pipa lines leading the ensemble to a climatic finish.