May is Asian Heritage Month here in Canada. The month is used to reflect and recognize the vast contributions Canadian’s of Asian heritage have made to the rich tapestry that is Canada. The Arts, sciences, sports, business, and government have all benefitted from the contributions made by Canadians of Asian descent.
Asian Heritage Month has been celebrated since the 1990s. In December of 2001 the Senate adopted a motion proposed by Senator Vivian Poy to officially declare May as Asian Heritage Month.
To help mark Asian Heritage Month, we here at Classic 107 are showcasing the music of Chinese composers, specifically orchestral compositions in the 1:00pm hour. Intermezzo host Chris Wolf will take you on a journey of works frequently heard on Chinese orchestral concerts, but regrettably, are rarely if ever heard here in the west.
Music for orchestral and Gaohu will be heard, as well as music for other instruments such as the beautiful sounding Pipa, and the lyrical and expressive Erhu.
On Monday May 9th the music of Chen, Peixun will be featured. His gorgeous piece for gaohu and orchestra titled “Fantasia on Cantonese Folk Themes” will feature this truly unique and beautiful sounding instrument.
On Tuesday May 10th, one of the most famous pieces in Chinese orchestra literature will go to air. He Zhanhao and Chen Gang’s “Butterfly Lovers violin concerto” is sumptuously written, and is inspired by one of the oldest and more well-known Chinese love stories in Chinese literature.
On Wednesday, May 11th Chris will showcase the music of Li, Huanzhi. His boisterous “Spring Festival Suite” is inspired by people from the Shanbei region of China, and their celebration of the Chinese New Year. The main melody of the piece, is widely heard in mainland China, and is sung by school children throughout the countryside.
On Thursday, May 12th music of Jinxuan Yan will be heard. ”The White-Haired Girl Suite" is a very colorful and musically contrasting suite, that tells of the juxtaposition of two generations of Chinese citizens. This is music that was originally written for an opera and later turned into a one of China’s most renowned ballets.
The 1:00pm hour this week will be concluded with music of Du Mingxin. His violin concerto; completed in 1982, was written for the violin virtuoso Takako Nishizaki. It is a true showpiece for the violin that runs the gamut of sheer gorgeous expressive moments, to high octane technical fireworks.
If you cannot afford or do not have the means to travel to the far east, join Chris Wolf as he acts as your musical travel guide to the amazing world of Chinese music.
Only on Classic 107…