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Instrumentation: Pipa, Erhu and Cello/Gehu/String Quartet

Duration: ca. 6'30"

Composition Date: 2016.12

Première Date: 2018.05.19  ​ 

Première Artists: Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra (Conductor: Hee-chiat Chew)

Programme Notes:

Grass on the Ancient Plain: A Song of Farewell is an instrumental piece based on the same title of Tang poem by Bai Juyi. The poem describes the vivacity and energy of the ancient grasslands in the flourish of spring. The poet also wishes to express his sorrow through the scene of lush grasses when parting with a dear friend.


Life is a cycle of meeting and departing. The structure of the piece adopts the concept of the poetic context by recurring the vigorous running figure in pipa as a musical drama of endless wild fire. The dramatic effect is further accomplished by diversified playing techniques of erhu, including imitation of wind sound, horse galloping, and the call of horse. In contrast, the slow and nostalgic passages express the sadness of departing. Ultimately, the design of recurring symbolised figures depicts the busy departing scenes similar to the scene of train station and airport in the modern era.

Grass on the Ancient Plain: A Song of Farewell

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