Wenchen QIN Violin Concerto ‘The Border of the Mountains’ Concerto ‘Dawn’ Suona Concerto ‘Calling for Phoenix’

Mengla Huang, Violin • Li-Wei Qin, Cello • Qianyuan Zhang, Suona ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra Gottfried Rabl Wenchen Qin (b. 1966) and the sometimes glassy, sometimes whistling tones of III. The Border of the Mountains • Dawn • Calling for Phoenix harmonics. The orchestra provides support to this line, Fire chattering below, or briefly seizing control of the music in Like a sea rising to the sky, Wenchen Qin (b. 1966) is a composer and teacher in and Taiwan. His major compositions include Yin Ji (2001) short outbursts before leaving the soloist alone altogether. And like Pegasus wild and unbridled, Beijing, where he is a professor of composition at the and Pilgrimage in May (2004) for orchestra; Nature’s Finally we reach the third movement, Dancing in It sweeps across toward the river. Central Conservatory of Music, and a distinguished Dialogue (2010) for tape and orchestra; the suona Mountain Shadow, which has a strong rhythmic impetus professor at the China Conservatory of Music. concerto Calling for Phoenix (1996), the violin concerto and more prominent rôle for percussion (including the The suona concerto Calling for Phoenix (2010) is an Qin was born in 1966 in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, and The Border of the Mountains (2012), Echo from the Other percussive effect of col legno from the strings). After the orchestral adaptation of a work written by Qin in 1996 for became familiar with the folk music of his home while still Shore (2015) for guzheng and orchestra, and chamber highly lyrical character of much of the earlier two traditional Chinese instruments. The suona is a small very young. In 1987 he went to study composition at the music works including Lonely Song (1990/2015), He-Yi movements, here the music is driven forwards with little double-reed instrument a little like a shawm, traditionally Shanghai Conservatory of Music, where his tutors (1998/1999), Huai Sha (1999), Five Songs on the Horizon rhythmic cells, full of energy. The ensemble builds to a used in music for public occasions such as wedding and included Jian-er Zhu (b. 1922) and Shuya Xu (b. 1961). (2005), The Sun Shadow (1987-) series and the Sounds long-held, ecstatic chord over which the soloist recalls the funeral processions; similarly, it is employed in Chinese He joined the staff of the Central Conservatory in Beijing that Awake Memories (2006-) series, as well as his singing lines of the work’s opening; eventually, this fades opera to mark significant events or the arrival of important in 1992 and, between 1998 and 2001, studied with second string quartet Wind Lament (2013) and Towards a away until just the high winds are left, calling like birds into characters. This seems entirely appropriate given the Nicolaus A. Huber in Essen, Germany, thanks to the Far Place, 30 pieces of chamber music for Chinese the silence. subject matter of the piece: the phoenix is a symbol of sponsorship of the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch- instruments (2010/2011). His music is published The cello concerto Dawn (2008) consists of three virtue, grace, loyalty and honesty in Chinese legend, the dienst (DAAD). exclusively by Sikorski Musikverlag, Hamburg. movements, each of which is based on a fragment of perfect balance of Yin and Yang. Qin was inspired to Qin is one of China’s most influential composers, and The violin concerto The Border of the Mountains was poetry by Hai Zi (1964-1989), one of the most famous compose Calling for Phoenix after viewing the painting has written commissions for many international music completed in 2012, and was commissioned by the poets in mainland China in the 1980s. However, Qin’s series Phoenix in Fire by Xiao-he Tang and Li Cheng, and organisations, including the Deutsches Symphonie- Shanghai Conservatory of Music for its 85th anniversary. music is not intended to depict or ‘explain’ the poetry, but being struck in particular by the vitality and spiritual Orchester Berlin, the Beethovenfest Bonn, and the We begin with a long antiphonal passage, the solo violin rather to function as a counterpoint to Hai Zi’s words. richness of the images. The piece falls into three parts: a Warsaw Autumn, Bayerischer Rundfunk and Shanghai pitted against the orchestral strings playing high in their Thus, whilst certain musical devices appear to reflect highly rhythmical and energetic central section framed by Spring International Music Festivals. His works have been registers: Qin’s exaggerated depiction of songs sung aspects of the poetic scenes (the stillness of the very an almost chamber-like opening and a slower, deeply widely performed by more than seventy well-known between Chinese people in the mountains, almost like opening; birds chirruping in winds and strings through the emotive final section. This mirrors the story of the musical groups in China and further afield, including hoarse shouting as the lines bounce off against each first movement; a striking contrast between frenzied phoenix, who was born and grew up in the dark, matured Ensemble Intercontemporain and L’Itinéraire in France, other and occasionally intertwine. The malleable sonic activity and total stillness in the second movement as if through a baptism of fire, and finally flew to the sun. The the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, the Stuttgart nature of string instruments is constantly exploited, sliding the music is seen from ‘near... and yet... so far away’), suona writing is intensely virtuosic, featuring rapid Chamber Orchestra and ensemble recherche in up and down between pitches and pressing semitones there are also moments of high contrast and vibrant passagework, flutter-tonguing and lightning-quick leaps Germany, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the and even quartertones closely together within the orchestral colours that find no direct parallels in the text, through the instrument’s compass: all of which are also Ensemble Europeo Antidogma in Italy, the Tokyo City ensemble writing. As the movement progresses, the but seem to complement the images depicted. characteristic of Qin’s writing for the solo violin and cello Symphony Orchestra, the St Petersburg Philharmonic, forceful rhythms of speech-like patterns from the whole in the other concertos featured on this recording. Calling the Nieuw Ensemble Holland, the Ensemble Phoenix orchestra are contrasted with passages in which the I. for Phoenix is intended to represent the determination of Basel, the Philharmonic Orchestra, the pulse seems suspended, the strings and soloist holding Dawn the natural world to create and perpetuate life against all Contemporary Music Ensemble Korea (CMEK), and the line as if in space. The second movement makes use Which chariot will carry you to a distant land? odds and in the most difficult circumstances. Sinfonia Varsovia in Poland. His music has been of a short segment of Shanxi folk song, the writing more It is so far away that you’d never return. broadcast on major radio stations in Germany, Austria, lyrical and almost religious in character. The song itself, Oh, which is the chariot? Wenchen Qin France and Switzerland, including North German Radio Couples are happy together, but you are not here, is the (NDR), West German Radio (WDR), Radio France, Swiss story of a woman alone among married friends, since her II. Edited by Katy Hamilton Radio, Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB) and ORF- husband has had to travel far away to find work. Qin Wind Radio Wien. exploits an extraordinary array of colours in the solo There goes the sun’s music, and the sun’s horse; Qin is the recipient of seven awards at international violin: simple open intervals, bowed and plucked lines So near you are seated, and yet you are so far away. composition competitions in Germany, the USA, Japan together, sudden jumps and leaps through the register, Wenchen Qin (geb. 1966) Sprünge über die Register hinweg, mal gläserne, dann I. Die Grenze der Berge • Morgendämmerung • Der Ruf nach dem Phoenix wieder pfeifende Flageoletts. Das Orchester unterstützt Morgendämmerung diese Linie, zwitschert, plaudert und übernimmt wohl auch Welcher Wagen wird dich in ein fernes Land bringen? Der chinesische Komponist Wenchen Qin wurde 1966 in Dialogue (2010) für Tonband und Orchester; Echo from gelegentlich in kurzen Ausbrüchen die Führung, bevor der Es ist so weit weg, dass du niemals wiederkehrst. der innermongolischen Stadt Ordos geboren und war the Other Shore (2015) für die chinesische Solist völlig allein gelassen wird. Schließlich erreichen wir Oh, was ist das für ein Wagen? schon sehr früh mit der Volksmusik seiner Heimat Wölbbrettzither Guzheng und Orchester. Dazu kommen den dritten Satz (Tanzen im Schatten des Berges), der vertraut. Seit 1987 studierte er Komposition am etliche kammermusikalische Stücke wie Lonely Song einen starken rhythmischen Impetus und eine prominentere II. Konservatorium von Shanghai, wo er unter anderem von (1990/2015), He-Yi (1998/1999), Huai Sha (1999) und Rolle für das Schlagzeug enthält (dazu gehören auch die Wind Jian-er Zhu (geb.1922) und Shuya Xu (geb. 1961) Five Songs on the Horizon (2005) sowie die Werkreihen perkussiven col legno-Effekte der Streicher). Nach dem Dahin gehen die Musik der Sonne und das Pferd der ausgebildet wurde. 1992 wurde er Lehrer am Zentralen The Sun Shadow (1987-) und Sounds that Awake äußerst lyrischen Charakter, der die beiden Sonne; Konservatorium von Peking, wo er inzwischen eine Memories (2006-). Erwähnt werden müssen überdies vorangegangenen Sätze über weite Strecken prägt, wird Du sitzt so nah dabei und bist doch so weit weg. Professur innehat. In gleicher Funktion unterrichtet er am sein zweites Streichquartett Wind Lament (2013) sowie die Musik jetzt durch kleine rhythmische, energie- China Conservatory of Music. Von 1998 bis 2001 konnte die dreißig Stücke Towards a Far Place für chinesische geladene Zellen vorwärtsgetrieben. Das Ensemble III. Qin dank eines Stipendiums des DAAD bei Nicolaus A. Instrumente (2010/11). Seine Musik wird exklusiv von steigert sich zu einem lang ausgehaltenen, ekstatischen Feuer Huber in Essen studieren. dem Hamburger Sikorski Musikverlag veröffentlicht. Akkord, indessen der Solist an die gesanglichen Linien Wie eine See zum Himmel aufsteigt, Qin gehört zu den einflussreichsten Komponisten Das Violinkonzert The Border of Mountains (»Die vom Anfang des Werkes erinnert. Diese verklingen, und Und wie Pegasus wild und zügellos, seiner Heimat. Viele internationale Institutionen und Grenze der Berge«) vollendete Qin 2012 zum 85-jährigen endlich bleiben nur noch die hohen Holzbläser übrig, die Fegt es hinüber zum Fluss. Festivals haben ihm Aufträge erteilt. Darunter waren das Jubiläum des Konservatoriums von Shanghai. Das wie Vogelrufe in der Stille klingen. Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, das Beethovenfest dreisätzige Stück ist hier in einem Track zu hören. Es Auch das 2008 entstandene Cellokonzert Dawn Bei dem Konzert für Suona Calling for Phoenix (»Der Ruf Bonn, der Warschauer Herbst, der Bayerische Rundfunk beginnt mit einer langen antiphonischen Passage, in der (»Morgendämmerung«) besteht aus drei Sätzen. Diesen nach dem Phoenix«) aus dem Jahre 2010 handelt es sich und das Internationale Frühlingsfestival von Shanghai. die Solovioline gegen die hohen Register der Orchester- liegen Fragmente aus der Poesie des Dichters Hai Zi um die Orchesterbearbeitung eines Werkes, das Qin 1996 Seine Musik wurde von über siebzig bekannten streicher antritt: Qin schildert hier in übersteigerter Weise (1964-1989) zugrunde, der in den achtziger Jahren zu für traditionelle chinesische Instrumente geschrieben hat. Formationen des In- und Auslandes gespielt – unter die Gesänge, die zwischen den Menschen im den berühmtesten literarischen Erscheinungen des Die Suona ist ein kleines, schalmeienartiges Doppelrohr- anderem von den Pariser Ensembles Intercontemporain chinesischen Gebirge hin und her gehen – beinahe wie chinesischen Festlands gehörte. Dessen ungeachtet will blattinstrument, das üblicherweise bei öffentlichen und L’Itinéraire, vom Deutschen Symphonieorchester heisere Rufe, deren Linien aneinander abprallen und sich die Musik nicht als Abbildung oder »Erklärung« der Anlässen wie Hochzeiten und Trauerprozessionen Berlin, dem Stuttgarter Kammerorchester und dem gelegentlich miteinander verbinden. Die biegsamen Worte, sondern vielmehr als ein Kontrapunkt zu diesen eingesetzt wird. Ganz ähnlich ist seine Funktion in der Freiburger Ensemble recherche. Zu nennen sind ferner Klänge der Streicher werden dabei durchweg in glissandi verstanden sein. In gewissen musikalischen Elementen chinesischen Oper, wo es wichtige Geschehnisse oder das Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, das italienische verwandt, wobei Qin in seinem Ensemblesatz Halbtöne scheinen sich verschiedene Aspekte der poetischen den Auftritt wichtiger Charaktere markiert. Dem Sujet des Ensemble Europeo Antidogma, das Städtische Symphonie- und auch Vierteltöne dicht zusammenpresst. Im weiteren Szenen zu spiegeln (die Stille zu Beginn; das Vogel- vorliegenden Stückes ist dieses Instrument offenbar orchester Tokio, die St. Petersburger Philharmoniker, das Verlauf des Satzes kontrastieren die kräftigen Rhythmen gezwitscher der Holzbläser und Streicher im ersten Satz; durchaus angemessen: Der chinesischen Sage zufolge Nieuw Ensemble Holland, das Ensemble Phoenix Basel, der sprachartigen Muster, die das Orchester zu spielen im zweiten Satz dann der auffallende Gegensatz ist der Phönix ein Symbol der Tugend, Anmut, Treue und das Philharmonische Orchester Helsinki, das Ensemble hat, mit Passagen, in denen der Puls aufgehoben scheint zwischen irrwitziger Aktivität und Stille, als sähe man die Ehrlichkeit, das vollkommene Gleichgewicht von Yin und für Zeitgenössische Musik Korea (CMEK) und die – wenn nämlich die Streicher und der Solist wie in einem Musik »aus der Nähe ... und doch ... so weit weg«) – doch Yang. Qin wurde zu dem Werk durch die Bilderserie Sinfonia Varsovia. Qins Werke wurden von den großen weiten Raum innehalten. Im zweiten Satz verwendet der es gibt auch Momente, deren starke Kontraste und Phönix im Feuer der Maler Xiao-he Tang und Li Cheng deutschen, österreichischen, französischen und schweiz- Komponist ein kurzes Segment des Volksliedes Die lebendige Orchesterfarben keine direkten textlichen angeregt, an denen ihn vor allem die Lebendigkeit und erischen Sendern ausgestrahlt (NDR, WDR, RBB, ORF, Paare sind glücklich miteinander, aber du bist nicht hier. Parallelen haben, sondern die dargestellten Bilder der spirituelle Reichtum fesselten. Das Stück besteht aus Radio France und SRF). Dieses Lied aus der Provinz Shanxi singt eine Frau, die anscheinend komplementär ergänzen. drei Abschnitten, wobei der äußerst rhythmische, Qin wurde in Deutschland, Japan, Taiwan und den USA sich im Kreise ihrer verheirateten Freund(inn)en einsam energievolle Mittelteil von einer beinahe kammer- bei sieben internationalen Wettbewerben ausgezeichnet. fühlt, da ihr Ehemann auf der Suche nach Arbeit weit hat musikalischen Einleitung und einem langsameren, sehr Zu seinen wichtigen Kompositionen gehören neben den reisen müssen. Qin bedient sich in der Solovioline eines gefühlvollen Schluss eingerahmt wird. Darin spiegelt sich drei hier eingespielten Werken die Orchesterstücke Yin Ji außergewöhnlichen Farbspektrums: einfache, offene die Geschichte des Phönix, der in der Dunkelheit geboren (2001) und Pilgrimage in May (2004); The Nature’s Intervalle, simultanes arco- und pizzikato-Spiel, jähe wurde und aufwuchs, durch eine Feuertaufe reifte und endlich in die Sonne flog. Die Stimme der Suona ist ist. Der Ruf nach dem Phönix will darstellen, mit welcher Mengla Huang überaus virtuos. Sie verlangt rasche Passagen, Entschlossenheit die Natur trotz aller Widrigkeiten auch Flatterzunge und blitzschnelle Sprünge durch den unter schwierigsten Umständen das Leben erschaffen Violinist Mengla Huang graduated from the gesamten Tonraum des Instruments: Grundsätzlich sind und bewahren will. Shanghai Conservatory of Music and Royal das dieselben Charakteristika, die auch Qins Umgang mit Academy of Music, London. He won the First der Solovioline und dem Solocello auszeichnen, wie in Wenchen Qin Prize at the Premio Paganini International Violin den beiden anderen Werken dieser Produktion zu hören Deutsche Fassung: Cris Posslac Competition in Italy in 2002 as well as First Prize at the Sendai International Music Competition in 2001. He has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Wiener Symphoniker, the Czech Philharmonic, the Bamberger Symphoniker, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the NHK Symphony Orchestra, among others. His brilliant technique and unique interpretations have fascinated audiences throughout Asia, Europe and North America. In addition to a career as an international soloist, he teaches at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the Ishikawa Music Academy in Japan.

Pages from Wenchen Qin’s Cello Concerto Li-Wei Qin Qianyuan Zhang

Qianyuan Zhang is a suona teacher at the China Conservatory of Music. She received China’s top music award, the Golden Bell gold medal, at the age of twenty, and received the highest Chinese government music award, the Wenhua Prize gold medal, when very young. Her extraordinary performance made her the only double gold medal winner in the suona field. She took part as a competitor in the 35th Vienna International Youth Art Festival in 2006, the Llangollen International Musical Festival in Wales in 2008 and the Uzbekistan International Music Festival in 2011, and won gold awards at all of the three events. In recent years Qianyuan Zhang has been frequently invited as a soloist to perform at important domestic and foreign concerts. In March 2014 she participated in the Concert for the 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Ties between France and China, with the attendance of Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President François Hollande, where she collaborated on a suona concerto with the Orchestre Colonne. Zhang now works as an ambassador for the dissemination of Chinese national music culture around the world.

Li-Wei Qin has appeared all over the world as a soloist and a chamber musician. After achieving great success at the 11th Tchaikovsky International Competition where he was awarded the Silver Medal, he has since won First Prize at the prestigious 2001 Naumburg Competition in New York. Two times soloist at the BBC Proms in London’s Royal Albert Hall, he has enjoyed successful artistic collaborations with many of the world’s great orchestras including all of the BBC symphony orchestras, and leading orchestras in Europe, America, Australia, Japan and elsewhere. Other major invitations have included appearances at the 2008 Beijing Olympics (New Zealand Symphony Orchestra), the 2012 London Olympics and the Davos World Economic Forum (Basel Symphony Orchestra). His recordings on Universal Music/Decca include the complete Beethoven Sonatas, works by Rachmaninov with the pianist Albert Tiu, Dvořák’s Cello Concerto with the Symphony Orchestra and conductor Lan Shui, and the Elgar and Walton Concertos with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He is a professor at the YST Conservatory of the National University of Singapore. He plays a 1780 Joseph Guadagnini cello, generously lent by Dr and Mrs Wilson Goh. ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra Gottfried Rabl

Photo: Thomas Ramstorfer

The ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra regularly performs in subscription series in the Vienna Musikverein and Born in Vienna, Gottfried Rabl studied the piano and graduated in French horn, conducting and vocal coaching at the Konzerthaus. In addition, the orchestra appears annually at major Austrian and international festivals, having close ties University of Music in Vienna. He was awarded a conducting fellowship in Helsinki and led his own highly successful with the Salzburg Festival, the Wiener Festwochen, Wien Modern, and musikprotokoll im steierischen herbst, which ensemble for avant-garde music, Theatre of Silence, for several years, in which he appeared as conductor, pianist and provides a platform for the performance of new and experimental music. Tours to Japan and China are also a regular composer. He later started a close collaboration with Leonard Bernstein in Vienna, Milan and the United States, during part of the RSO schedule. The orchestra has also appeared in the Americas, Thailand and Taiwan. Since 2007 the which he served as musical assistant and editor of Bernstein’s last opera, A Quiet Place. He subsequently pursued RSO has successfully collaborated with the Theater an der Wien, thereby gaining an excellent reputation as an opera post-graduate studies for several years at the Indiana University School of Music in the United States, where he orchestra. The RSO is also entirely at home in the film music genre and every year is conducted by composers who became conductor of the local symphony orchestra. In Vienna Gottfried Rabl frequently conducts the Vienna Radio have won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures. In 1969, the Vienna RSO grew out of the Symphony Orchestra and works regularly with the renowned contemporary music ensemble die reihe. Internationally main orchestra of Austrian Radio. Under the leadership of its chief conductors, Milan Horvat, Leif Segerstam, Lothar he has worked with the NDR Radio Philharmonic Hannover, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the Queensland Zagrosek, Pinchas Steinberg, Dennis Russell Davies, Bertrand de Billy and, since 2010, Cornelius Meister, the Symphony Orchestra, and the George Enescu Philharmonic, Bucharest, among other orchestras. He has recorded for orchestra has continuously expanded its repertoire amid growing international renown. BMG-Ariola and the German labels Orfeo and cpo as well as Sony Classical. Wenchen Qin A native of Inner Mongolia, Wenchen Qin grew up with the folk music of his homeland and is now one of China’s most influential composers. His violin concerto The Border of the Mountains exploits the extraordinary colours and flexibility of both orchestra and soloist, echoing nature and the songs and spirituality of the mountains. Each movement of the cello concerto Dawn is based on a fragment of text by the poet Hai Zi, while Calling for Phoenix, inspired by the series of paintings Phoenix in Fire by Xiao-he Tang and Li Cheng, is an intensely virtuosic concerto for suona, a traditional double-reed instrument. WENCHEN QIN (b. 1966) Violin Concerto ‘The Border of the Mountains’ (2012) 1 21:06 1 I. 7:52 2 II. 6:50 3 III. 6:24 Cello Concerto ‘Dawn’ (2008) 2 23:32 4 I. 7:39 5 II. 9:01 6 III. 6:52 7 Suona Concerto ‘Calling for Phoenix’ (1996/2010) 3 20:03 WORLD PREMIÈRE RECORDINGS Mengla Huang, Violin 1 Li-Wei Qin, Cello 2 • Qianyuan Zhang, Suona 3 ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra Gottfried Rabl

A co-production with ORF RSO Vienna Recorded at the Große Sendesaal, ORF Funkhaus, Vienna, Austria, from 7th to 14th March, 2016 Producer and editor: Erich Hofmann • Engineer: Friedrich Trondl Publisher: Sikorski Music Publishers, Hamburg • Booklet notes: Wenchen Qin Cover painting by Chao Ge