or viola and pipa(2020)
|Commission||Co-commissioned by Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Capital Region Classical, Foundation of Chinese Performing Arts, and Rockport Chamber Music Festival with leadership support from Robert Amory|
|Premiere||June 30, 2022; Rockport Music Festival, Rockport, Maine; Hsin-Yun Huang, viola • Wu Man, pipa|
Mother’s Songs (for viola and pipa, 2020) was written in response to the songs sung by my teacher, the eminent Mongolian scholar Wulalji, who taught me since my childhood. During my visits to China in 2019, Prof. Wulalji sang several songs that his mother, Jijig (1912-2005), the great singer from the Horchin Prairie, had taught him when he was a child.
These songs are of a traveler’s longing for home and a daughter’s desire to be reunited with her mother. At age 83, my teacher is the only one in Inner Mongolia who still remembers these ancient melodies, and he sang them with deep emotion.
I, too, am away from home. My teacher’s singing evoked a strong sense of longing even as it offered profound solace. In this piece, I hope to share with the audience the gift of these moving songs.
Mother’s Songs was co-commissioned by Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Capital Region Classical, Foundation of Chinese Performing Arts, and Rockport Chamber Music Festival with leadership support from Robert Amory. It was written for Hsin-Yun Huang and Wu Man who gave its world premiere.
– Lei Liang