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Bright Sheng

Publisher: G. Schirmer

The Stream Flows (for violin) (1990)
G Schirmer Inc
Solo Works (excluding keyboard)
Year Composed
10 Minutes

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Score Score

Programme Note
Bright Sheng The Stream Flows (for violin) (1990)

Related works:
China Dreams
The Stream Flows (for string orchestra)
The Stream Flows (for violin)
The Stream Flows (for viola)

Composer note:
This work [was] commissioned by the Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts, for Nai-Yuan Hu, who gave the premiere performance on October 20, 1990 at the Jordan Hall of the New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts. This work is dedicated to my teacher Hugo Weisgall.

The first part of The Stream Flows is based on a famous Chinese folk song from the southern part of China. The freshness and the richness of the tune deeply touched me when I first heard it. Since then I have used it as basic material in several of my works. Here I hope that the resemblance of the timbre and the tone quality of a female folk singer is evoked by the solo violin. The second part is a fast country dance based on a three-note motive.

—Bright Sheng

  • Soloist(s)
    Zhi-Jong Wang, violin; Yashuangzi Xie, piano
  • Soloist(s)
    Linda Wang
    Equilibrium, Ltd.:
  • Soloist(s)
    Scott Conklin and Alan Huckleberry
    Albany Records:
There’s a line from the poem that haunts the work’s first section: "Like the moon, you walk in the sky." Through it Sheng produces soaring birds within the music. Its second section has aggressive elements, concerned with man and nature.
Pierre Ruhe, The Washington Post,24/04/1997
Mr. Sheng based the first part of the work on a plaintive Chinese folk song, which he spun into an intensely emotional, freely soaring fantasy. The work’s second part is a brisk dance, which has a more aggressive expansion.
Allan Kozinn, The New York Times,14/08/1994
The clear Chinese voice of Sheng’s unaccompanied music was fresh and haunting.
Sarah Pope, Straid,01/07/1992
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