About this Recording
82096 - ZHOU, C.: Golden Late Autumn / Hilly Country Suite

Golden Late Autumn
Golden Late Autumn is based on the colourful folk-tunes popular among the ethnic minorities living in South-Western China. The whole piece is made up of four parts. The first part, in slow free rhythm, is quite tranquil. The second, in slow tempo, begins with a somewhat sentimental theme on the bawu, a traditional wood instrument popular in the region. Then the liuqin, a plucked string instrument, and the two-string bowed erhu, successively join the performance. The music gradually develops by means of variations. The third part, marked Allegretto, offers variations on the lento theme. With something of an air of mystery the music reflects the magnificence of the late autumn. The fourth part, Largo, also consists of variations on the theme. The music expresses the richness and beauty of late autumn. After an intermezzo on the bawu, the music comes to an emphatic end.

Mountain Spring
Tiny water droplets seep from the cracks in the cliffs and converge into a zigzag brooklet, which flows into the river and the sea. This is the source of life for the people living in the mountains. Every place through which the brooklet flows is full of vitality and life.

Seeing in the New Year
With the folk-music popular in Jiangnan, the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, as material, Seeing in the New Year depicts the scene of people celebrating the Spring Festival, the Chinese lunar New Year. Based on the timbre of Chinese instruments, the music also introduces the rhythm of the traditional percussion used in festive celebrations.

Spring in the Miao Mountains
The Miao are an ethnic minority living in South-Eastern China. Spring in the Miao Mountains is a depiction of spring in the mountains where the Miao live and of a happy dance scene. The composer breaks through the traditional pentatonic tuning and ingeniously gives prominence to yaozhi, a special technique of plucking, and yinxian, a special technique of fingering, which gives a distinctive feature to the music.

Hilly Country Suite
The folk-tunes of the Chinese ethnic minorities are frequently used by the composer as material for his compositions. Out of his love for the culture of the hilly country, the composer wrote his Hilly Country Suite, commissioned by the Taiwan Experimental Chinese Orchestra. The whole piece consists of four movements. The first, Mountain Ballad, depicts the expanse and tranquility of the mountain fields and simple life in the mountains. The second, Childish Interest, shows children playing hide and seek. The third movement, Bamboo Pole Dance in the Moonshine, depicts the gentle, beautiful dance of young girls. The fourth, The Rite, shows the uninhibitedness of the hill country tribe at their traditional ceremonies.

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