Chuang, chamber music for four players
MetadataShow full item record
"Chuang," in Chinese, means "the window." The five pieces of this particular composition symbolize five different windows, or rather, five different views from the same window. Each of these views presents a different mood and perspective through music. It implies different seasons or different times of a day. Thus, the whole composition is based on the idea of "contrast." The entire composition requires four players, but nine instruments: the flutist plays piccolo, flute and alto flute; the percussionist plays glockenspiel, vibraphone and xylophone, as well as marimba. To these are added violoncello and harp. In musical terms, the five pieces differ chiefly in the intervals used, and in their instrumentation, texture and form. This variety serves to create in individual character or mood for each piece. The final movement integrates quotations from the preceding four to establish the unity of the composition. This last piece thus becomes the cumulative highlight of the entire work. Musically, the timbre, particularly of harmonies and instruments, expresses the feeling of each piece. The composer allows for this by establishing a certain freedom in meters, rhythms, barlines and dynamics. This is especially apparent in I, III, IV and in the first half of II.