Intermezzo-SHANG is released!

voice of taiwan

Awarded to the “Best Art Music Album” of the year in Taiwan, the premiere-live recording of my orchestral Work “Intermezzo: SHANG” is released and available overseas! Conducted by Nicholas Milton, performed by National Symphony Orchestra.  I was very pleased by the star team involved in this album.
現場首演的錄音 “間奏曲:商” 發行囉!由尼可拉斯. 彌爾頓指揮, 國家交響樂團演出.

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More about Intermezzo: SHANG

Intermezzo: SHANG (2010-11)   Yuan-Chen LI

Intermezzo: SHANG for symphonic orchestra was composed between my summer residency in Paris at the Cité des Arts in 2010, and the time I was pursuing my Ph.D. in composition at the University of Chicago ending in May, 2011. Also during this time span, I was able to attend some new music festivals in Europe as well as seminars and performances in Chicago. Importantly, many of them explored the problems of society or historical events, emphasizing the state of the human condition represented by disturbing psychological images and unique sounds.  Specifically, the violence taking place in North Africa and the Middle East during the political reformations affected me, as did the crisis in east- north Japan which precipitated a nuclear crisis, and the human rights progress in Taiwan, my home country, vis a vis the abolishment of the death penalty.  Overall, these events were astonishing for their scale and depth, and I was unable to effectively respond to them as an individual. However, I was optimistic that I could meaningfully reflect with my music as a composer.

The work is comprised of three movements: I. Onward. II. Intermezzo, and III. Strange Shore. The first movement begins with a mild, ascending gesture as the primary motive.  Later the orchestra develops multiple sections with different degrees of tensions and leads to the major triad ending.  The second movement is characterized by the strings playing a tender and harmonious chorale.  Finally, the last movement re-establishes its momentum, reminiscent of the first movement, and evolves to the climax of the entire work, represented by layers of ascending scales. At the end, a chant-like melody emerges in the violas, giving way to an unsettling, whisper-like ending.

Intermezzo: SHANG was commissioned by National Chiang Kai-Shek Cultural Center. The transformation of emotion could not have been realized without the support and technical guidance of my University of Chicago music department teachers, most important Kotoka Suzuki. The edition and the preparation of the final score were immensely improved thanks to the guidance of Cliff Colnot.



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