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Roosters of Dawn (2020) 神鸡破晓

for Orchestra 为管弦乐队而作 (12-15')

Program Note

Roosters of Dawn is co-commissioned by China National Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall, and National Center for the Arts Orchestra of Canada. It is written for 3 flutes (the second doubles piccolo 2, the third doubles piccolo 1), 3 oboes (the third doubles English horn), 3 clarinets (the second doubles Eb clarinet), 3 bassoons (the third doubles contra-bassoon); four French horns in F, three trumpets in C, two tenor trombones, one bass trombone, one tuba; timpani, four percussionists (chimes 1 and chimes 2 [in opposite, antiphonal positions], glockenspiel, vibraphone, slapstick, high wood block, small suspended cymbal, triangle, low bass drum, and large tam-tam), harp, piano, and strings.

Rooster is one of the twelve Chinese zodiac animals. According to Chinese mythology, years ago the Emperor of the Heavens sent his Golden Rooster at dawn each day to decree the rise of the sun. The call of the roosters also signifies and symbolizes an uplifting, good omen: the ending of darkness and the beginning of a new time.

In 2016, I wrote a large orchestral suite Concerto for Orchestra—Zodiac Tales, which consists of six movements, each depicts of an animal from the Chinese zodiacs. This new commission Roosters of Dawn is conceived as an independent composition, as well as a renewal aspiration for a second cycle of the Chinese zodiac animals.

《神鸡破晓》由中国国家大剧院交响乐团、美国卡内基音乐厅、加拿大国家艺术中心联合委約。乐器包括三支长笛(第二、第三兼短笛),三支双簧管(第三兼英国管),三支单簧管(第二兼高音单簧管),三支大管(第三兼低音大管),四支F调圆号,三支C调小号,两支男高音长号,一支低音长号, 一支大号,定音鼓,四位打击乐手(两架在舞台两侧相对应的钟琴 ,钢片琴,铝板钟琴,拍板,高音梆子,小吊镲,低音大鼓,低音大鑼),竖琴,钢琴,及弦乐队。


2016 年我曾写过一首交响组曲《管弦乐协奏曲:十二生肖》,为六个生肖谱曲。虽然这次新创作的《神鸡破晓》是个独立演奏的作品,但它也重新启动了我继续为其余六个生肖谱曲的愿望。

—Bright Sheng