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Tan Dun

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Out of Peking Opera (1994)
G Schirmer Inc
Soloists and Orchestra
Year Composed
16 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
Unavailable Explain this...
Programme Note
Tan Dun Out of Peking Opera (1994)
Composer Note:

What is Out of Peking Opera?

1. The first three bars of this piece are a direct quotation from the 'jing hu’ fiddling tradition of Peking Opera. This is the seed of the work as it unfolds, becomes increasingly abstract, increasingly expressionistic, and develops power, beauty, and longing.

2. I began this piece when I first came to New York and left behind the ancient continuity of Chinese society. I saw new things and began to make new connections between my own thoughts and the rest of the world. I felt refreshed, yet lamenting. I started to see my past more clearly. But I'm still not sure if "out of" means farther away, or closer.

In 1987, I wrote Out of Peking Opera with ambivalence by confronting serialism, being attracted to it yet doubting that it was the way for me. I would grapple with this issue until 1994, when I finally let it go.

—Tan Dun

  • Ensemble
    Helsinki Philharmonic
    Lin Cho-Liang, Kalevi Olli
    Muhai Tang, Kari Kropsu
Starting with a straight quotation of a famous Peking Opera tune, Tan's OUT OF PEKING OPERA executes a beautifully judged transition into a musical world that owes much to the violin concertos of Berg, Bartók and Shostakovich. With Cho-Liang Lin as soloist rediscovering Tan's imitations of the traditional Chinese fiddle of the Taiwanese heritage he himself left behind as a child, this performance has an intensity and magic that stays in the mind long after it is over.
Martyn Harry, Gramophone,01/01/0001
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