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Bright Sheng

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Hot Pepper (2010)
G Schirmer Inc
Small Ensemble (2-6 players)
Sub Category
Mixed Ensemble
Year Composed
10 Minutes
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Programme Note
Bright Sheng Hot Pepper (2010)
Camerata Pacifica
September 10 2010
Camerata Pacifica
Catherine Leonard, violin
Ji Hye Jung, marimba
Santa Barbara, CA

Composer Note

Hot Pepper was commissioned for Camerata Pacifica by Bob Peirce as a birthday celebration for his wife, Sharon Harroun Peirce. The premiere of the work took place on September 10, 2010, with Catherine Leonard (violin) and Ji Hye Jung (marimba).

The two-movement work is based on a folk song from China’s Si Chuan province, which is well known for its hot and spicy cuisine.

– Bright Sheng

Sample Pages

(Hot Pepper)..."is an evocative and dynamic piece of work, through which east and west musical polarities freely interact, without making a point about the cultural meeting. Pizzicato parts on violin create an empathetic bond with the percussion partner, as well as the percussive nature of some Chinese stringed instruments. As for the musical language, east-west dialoguing and the blend of folk-ish influences and serious music rigor are seamlessly interwoven, making for a wonderful piece of chamber music."
Josef Woodard, Santa Barbara News-Press,17/04/2012
Based on a Chinese folk tune from the Sichuan province, Sheng's “Hot Pepper” takes its name from the area’s fondness for hot spices. But the heat was also in a scorching performance. The 10-minute score had the feel of a Bartók rhapsody, a seductive warm-up of the tune, with some fancy virtuosic ornamentation, and then a section of wildness.
Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times,13/09/2010
The world premiere of Bright Sheng’s “Hot Pepper” for marimba and violin was just one of many highlights in this stellar opening concert of the Camerata Pacifica season. Ji Hye Jung, the percussionist ... was back, and she and her marimba dominated the first half of the evening, casting a mallet-driven spell of the utmost musicality. “Hot Pepper” was first, and Sheng was present to introduce his work, which was commissioned by Camerata subscriber Bob Peirce. Sheng said that it was called “Hot Pepper” because it was based on Szechuan folk tunes, and that he had written a full orchestral concerto for marimba two years ago, so he was familiar with the compositional issues raised by the instrument. When violinist Catherine Leonard joined Jung onstage for the approximately 10-minute piece, it became apparent immediately that Sheng’s feeling for this combination of instruments is something special. After a very delicate, attenuated finish to the first of its two movements, the second revealed a powerhouse of full-bodied chords from the violin and rippling, piano-like arpeggios from the marimba.
Charles Donelan, Santa Barbara Independent,04/09/2010
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