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Name of Work

Sheng, Bright (1955-)
Concertino for Clarinet and String Quartet



May 21, 2007

Larry Combs, Clarinet
Jasmine Lin, Violin
Joseph Genualdi, Viola
Rami Solomonow, Viola
Katinka Kleijn, Cello

SHENG-Concertino for Clarinet and String Quartet

Composed in 1994

Many Central European composers such as Bartók and Janáček have believed that the fundamental elements of their music come from the native folk music and prosody of their native languages. And therefore when one understands the folk music and languages from these regions, one can truly understand and appreciate their works. Although this may be true, the music of these composers is nevertheless widely liked and admired by millions who do not know their languages. In that respect, this is the very goal I wish to achieve in my writing, which stems from Asian culture.

The materials of this work are drawn from fragments of folk tunes I heard over 20 years ago when I was living in the northwest part of China. What struck me then was that, unlike most Chinese folk music, the folk music from that region is not based on a pentatonic scale. Instead, it has a seven-note scale similar to the mixolydian church mode. I wondered what it would be like if one were to use this melodic pattern in a work for Western instruments and whether it would lose its Asian quality.

Program Notes by Bright Sheng

Performance Date: May 21, 2007

Performance Audio

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