A Moonlit Night on the Spring River春江花月夜, 2014
for SATB Chorus
commissioned by William Wai-leung Chung for Novum Voce and Chamber Choir Concert, performed by Michigan State University Chamber Choir
A Moonlit Night on the Spring River (excerpt)
Zhang Ruoxu (660-720)
Up surge the spring tides to meet the sea,
So rises the radiant moon over the deep blue sea.
Thousands of miles away, the moon shimmers,
enveloping the river, with all its glimmers.
This work is set to the first two phrases of a Tang Poem A Moonlit Night on the Spring River by Ruoxu Zhang, which describes the stunning and indistinct scenery of spring, river, flowers, moon, and night. The melodic elements are an ancient Chinese tune also entitled A Moonlit Night on the Spring River. I sought to develop the tune by employing heterophonic texture which is commonly used in many traditional Chinese ensemble music. Such texture allows different voices to share the same melody with variations. I strived to create an individualistic sound through the blending of ancient tune and contemporary compositional technique, yet still maintaining characteristics of the traditional tune.