Friday, 1 April 2011

Top Chinese Piano Masterpieces

I'm looking to start studying some Chinese piano pieces, I believe it'll benefit  my understanding of sound colour - by virtue of a different tonality and music system. When I was a teenager, in the 1990s I was impressed by the virtuosity of some of the folk songs which were transcribed by piano, my previous teacher Koo Kwok Kuen had recorded Chinese Folk Piano music, so now I'm rediscovering them.  Here are some great examples. I hope you  enjoy them. As you can see, they are all inspired by nature!  
彩雲追月 Silver Clouds Chasing the Moon (1935) by Chinese composer (
Ren Guang, born in 1900) 
young Nigel Lim performs: 

Here's another fabulous performance of  彩雲追月 Silver Clouds Chasing the Moon by Aristo Sham.

Sa Chen, a prize winner in the Van Cliburn Competition and International Chopin competition  performs Autumn Moon Over the Calm Lake composed by Lu Wen-cheng in the 1930s. The piece is inspired by the composer's visit to the scenic West Lake, Hangzhou.

Lang Lang performs Autumn Moon Over the Calm Lake

Alaina Zhang performs Liu Yang He (by composer Tang Bi-guang)

Embroidering a Portrait in Gold 绣金匾, "Xiu Jin Bian" performed by pianist Yin Chengzong, 2nd prize winner in the 1962 International Tchaikovsky Competition. Alternative title is "Embroidering the Tablet With Golden Threads"

Last but not least, the Yellow River Piano Concerto performed by the  the Symphony Orchestra of the Central Philharmonic Society 中央乐团交响乐队  and pianist Yin Chengzong 殷承宗 (who arranged the piece from a work by Xian Hinghai)  This 1st Movement is characterised as
Prelude: "The Song of the Yellow River Boatmen" describes the momentum of the terrifying waves of the Yellow River and uses the rapid chromaticcrescendo and long rolls of the timpani and cymbals typical of Eight model plays model operas. (source: wikipedia)

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