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Tan Dun

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Death and Fire: Dialogue with Paul Klee (1992),
Publisher
G Schirmer Inc
Category
Orchestra
Year Composed
1992
Duration
27 Minutes


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Programme Note
Tan Dun Death and Fire: Dialogue with Paul Klee (1992),
About five years ago, I went to an exhibition on the painter Paul Klee at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. I was extremely moved and wanted to write a symphony. This became a discussion, a dialogue between myself and Klee’s paintings, not in any sense a musical description of particular works. Although constructed of many small sections, my symphony is imagined as a complete, continuous whole.

Klee was concerned with finding formal means to embody deep and universal feeling without bitterness and pathos, and out of sophisticated complexity to make a concentrated simplicity. Line, which in his thinking was associated both with melody and dynamic, was a major element in his work. This is closely related to the Chinese aesthetic, which is linear, non-harmonic, and seeks the soul of the work rather than the surface effects.

— Tan Dun



  • Ensemble
    Helsinki Philharmonic
    Conductor
    Muhai Tang, Kari Kropsu
    Ondine:
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Reviews
DEATH AND FIRE's imaginative flights put [it] in the upper echelon of Paul Klee-inspired music. Tan's composition has humor and pathos and is hugely entertaining.
Stephen Ellis, Fanfare,1/1/0001
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