About this Recording
9.70241 - JIA, Daqun: Chamber Works, Vol. 1 - Rondo / Intonation / 3 Movements of Autumn / The 3 Images from Ink-Wash Painting (Yemo He, Ran Jia, JieMin Zhang)

Jia Daqun (b. 1955)
Chamber Works


Rondo (1984)

Since reality and life are severe The dream mixes with an illusion of deep mystery. Although youth is confusion and hysteria, The contemplative monologue accompanied by cold silence. Even the powerful struggles carry on bravely. The reward is to cry towards the heavens, without tears. – Jia Daqun

The text above refers to the composer’s own experiences and emotions, which found their origin in his specific social environment and are expressed through musical programmaticism in Rondo. The work is based around the central musical interval of a fourth and related superimposed pitch-class sets, which is then accompanied by diverse rhythmic and textural arrangements in variation form.

Intonation (1990–94)

Intonation is a composition based around the internal framework of musical tension. Jia Daqun believes that changes in tone colour are merely to facilitate the ‘exterior decoration’ of a musical work, and that the core basis of all music is the structure. The composition explores the parallel relationships of musical form and construction. Intonation comprises three movements, the titles of which are Calligraphy, Ink-Wash Painting and Ode respectively. Although written to focus on the artifice of tonal colour, the work also serves as a vehicle to express the composer’s views of China’s profound traditional culture. The three movements are performed without a break, and the work was given its première in September 1996 by the New Juilliard Ensemble in New York.

Three Movements of Autumn (2000)

Chinese traditional culture is without doubt a heady source of inspiration for Jia Daqun’s music. In Three Movements of Autumn, he seeks to infuse his music with the elegant temperament and poetic vision of the revered figure of the Chinese intellectual. The work comprises three movements: Dramatic Charm is influenced by the speech and unusual vocal accompaniments heard backstage at the Sichuan Opera, and contrasts in character with the simple musical delights of Carefree Mood, a delicate piece about nature which is based on the ancient piece of music of Wang Ji with the words: ‘Nothing bothers me, life is simple and tranquil.’ The artistic conception of Tipsy Feeling sprung from another famous Qin music masterpiece: Jiu Kuang. With its frequent rhythmic changes, it creates an unconventional and not unpleasant sensation of inebriation.

The Three Images from Ink-Wash Painting (2005)

This composition depicts the finer nuances of Chinese traditional painting with its ethereal rhythmical arrangements and exquisite harmonic diversity and range of tonal colour. The work has a certain lingering charm, as is so often the case when Chinese culture is expressed through Western instruments. The work’s three movements are performed without interruption, and are all based upon differing forms of Chinese painting:

Gong Bi – subtle line and point drawings
Jin Ran – delicate dip-dye images
Po Mo – splashed ink, non-representational painting.

This composition was commissioned by the New Juilliard Ensemble for its special concert for the Juilliard Centennial and was sponsored by the Asian Cultural Council and the Guggenheim Foundation.

Notes compiled from texts provided by the composer

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