2020 The Water Dragon,《水龍吟》給中阮與國樂團, a concerto for Zhongaruan and Chinese Orchestra was commissioned by the Taipei Chinese Orchestra, with support from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Canada Council for the Arts. The Water Dragon received its premiere performance by Ma Hsin-Yu (zhongruan) and Tseng Wei-Yung (cond.) with the Taipei Chinese Orchestra at Zhongshan Hall, Taipei, Taiwan, on 28 November 2020.

DURATION

15 minutes

INSTRUMENTATION

Bangdi 1 & 2
Qudi 1 & 2
Dadi 1 & 2

Soprano Sheng 1 & 2
Alto Sheng 1 & 2
Bass Sheng 1 & 2

Soprano Suona 1 & 2
Alto Suona 1 & 2
Tenor Suona
Bass Suona

Yangqin 1 & 2
Liuqin 1 & 2
Pipa 1 & 2
Zhongruan 1–3
Daruan 1 & 2
Ghuzheng

Timpani
Percussion 1 & 2

Solo Zhongruan

Zhongruan
Gaohu
Erhu 1
Erhu 2
Zhonghu
Cello
Double Bass

The Water Dragon: Concerto for Zhongruan and Chinese Orchestra

《水龍吟》給中阮與國樂團:

When my daughter Claudia was born (2012), my wife and I naturally looked up what her Chinese zodiac sign was. We were delighted to discover Claudia was born as a “Water Dragon”. Water is one of the five elements each of the twelve Chinese zodiac animals could be associated with (the other four being Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal). When the commission to write a zhongruan concerto for the Taipei Chinese Orchestra was proposed to me, I turned to the Water Dragon as the source of my inspiration, all while thinking of Claudia. For me, this concerto is my own musical portrait of the legend of the Water Dragon with the zhongruan soloist cast as the central character.

The music begins with the sounds of the sea and the Water Dragon emerging from the waters (played by the zhongruan). As it emerges, woodblocks are heard playing elaborate rhythms which inspires the dragon to perform a water dance. Other sea creatures begin to join the Water Dragon, swimming all around it in a playful manner. As the dance ends, the Water Dragon sings a gentle song that is later joined by several of mermaids (played by the flutes). The mermaids soon leave as the song ends and other larger and dangerous creatures begin to emerge. They soon begin following the dragon. This leads to a fast and furious chase between the Water Dragon and the creatures, building up to a dramatic ending.

我的女兒克勞蒂亞(Claudia)出生時(2012年),我和妻子崔西(Tracy)就像任何具有東方血統的父母一樣,很自然地查了她的生肖。傳統除了十二生肖,又依五行再劃分金、木、水、火和土等五種元素。我們很開心克勞蒂亞是一隻「水龍」。當臺北市立樂團委託我為中阮創作一首協奏曲時,我當時一直想到的是克勞蒂亞,於是水龍便成為創作的靈感來源。對我來說,這首協奏曲是我對水龍傳奇的音樂素描,而中阮演奏家是音樂的核心角色。

音樂從海潮聲和水龍浮出水面開始(由中阮演奏)。當水龍出現時,我們聽到複雜的木魚節奏,激勵了水龍跳起它水舞。其他海洋生物陸續加入其中,圍繞著一起戲水。隨著舞蹈結束,水龍唱起了一首柔和的歌,美人魚也加入其中(由笛子演奏)。隨著歌唱的結束,美人魚也離去。這時,更大、更危險的生物出現,並開始尾隨水龍,逐漸演變為快速而激烈的追逐

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