Seven Tunes Heard In China (1995)
for violoncello solo
Edited by Yo Yo Ma
1. Seasons (Qinghai)
2. Guessing Song (Yunnan)
3. The Little Cabbage (Hebei)
4. The Drunken Fisherman (Classical)
5. Diu Diu Dang (Taiwan)
6. Pastoral Ballade (Mongolia)
7. Tibetan Dance (Tibet)
Written for Yo Yo Ma Commissioned by the Pacific Symphony for Dr. George Cheng in honor of his wife Arlene dedicated to Arlene Cheng
The work is based on seven folk tunes heard in China:
Spring is coming,
Narcissi are blooming,
The maiden is out from her boudoir seeking,
My love boy, lend me a hand, please.
II. Guessing Song
Baby, I am testing you:
What is the long, long thing in the sky?
What is the long, long thing under the sea?
What is the long, long thing sold on the street?
What is the long, long thing in front of you, young girl?
III. The Little Cabbage
The little cabbage is turning yellow on the ground,
She lost her parents when she was two or three.
Mom, my Mom!
IV. The Drunken Fisherman
(Classical, based on a tune originally written for qin, a seven string Chinese zither, originated
thousands of years ago.)
V. Diu Diu Dong
The train is coming,
It is going through the tunnel!
VI. Pastoral Ballade
White clouds are floating in the blue, blue sky;
Under the clouds, the grass is covered by the snow-white sheep.
The sheep are like pieces of white silver,
Spreading over the green, green grass.
VII. Tibetan Dance
(Based on the music of a popular Tibetan folk dance)