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Shanghai Overture available to listen

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The Most Recent performance of Shanghai Overture in September 2013, Bright Sheng had his Hong Kong premiere of this work conducted by Jaap van Zweden and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.



Shang Hai Overture (2007) 上海序曲

for Orchestra 为管弦乐队而作

to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music 献给上海音乐学院

Program Note

Shanghai Overture is a commission from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in celebration of its eightieth anniversary. It is premiered on November 27, 2007, by the Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, conducted by Muhai Tang. It is orchestrated for two piccolos, flute, two oboes, English horn, clarinet in Eb, two clarinets in Bb, two bassoons, contrabassoon, four French horns in F, two trumpets in C, trumpet in C and Bb, two tenor trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, four percussionists playing: Peking Opera cymbals (京中钗), small Peking Opera cymbals (京小钗), Peking Opera gong (京大锣), small Peking Opera gong (京小锣), small Chinese tom-tom (小堂鼓) or large bango, two temple-blocks-high and low (大小木鱼), wind-gong (风锣), ratchet (滚轮器), triangle (三角铁), glockenspiel (钢片琴), crotales with a bass bow (黄铜定音铃, 用低音提琴弓子演奏), large bass drum (低音大鼓), low tam-tam (低音大锣), harp, and strings.

In Western music, the term neo-Classicism primarily refers to a movement in music composition prevalent in the 1920s and 1930s. While the main aesthetics of the style emphasizes on textural clarity, light orchestration and formal balance, some of the compositions were directly linked to specific composers from earlier periods. The most well-known composer of the movement was Igor Stravinsky who wrote a number of works including a neo-Bachian piano concerto, a neo-Pergolesian suite (Pulcinella), and a neo-Mozartian opera (The Rake’s Progress).

I always wondered what the result would be if I would adopt a similar concept and some of the techniques of the neo-Classical style and apply them to traditional Chinese classical or folk music. Although my approach is somewhat different from Stravinsky, I took the opportunity to explore the idea when I was asked to write a short composition for The Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

Shanghai Overture is inspired by two well-known traditional Chinese compositions, General’s Degree (将军令) and Purple Bamboo (紫竹调). Whereas both came from the same region near Shanghai, they differ vastly in character and color, one is grand and powerful while the other is light and elegant.

This work is dedicated to The Shanghai Conservatory of music, my Alma Mater, where I received a firm foundation in basic music training.



—Bright Sheng

 

作品介绍: 《上海序曲》是为上海音乐学院80周年校庆所作的委约作品。将由汤沐海指hui上海音乐学院青年交响乐团于2007年11月27日首演,本作品的编制为两只短笛,长笛,两只双簧管,英国管,降E调单簧管,两只降B调单簧管,两只大管,低音大管,四只F调圆号,两只C调小号,C调与降B调小号,两只高音长号,低音长号,大号,定音鼓,四位打击乐演奏员演奏:京中钗,京小钗,京大锣,京小锣,小堂鼓,大小木鱼,风锣,滚轮器,三角铁,钢片琴,黄铜定音铃(用低音提琴弓演奏),低音大鼓,低音大锣;竖琴以及弦乐。

在西方音乐当中,“新古典主义”这一术语主要是指在20世纪20,30年代音乐创作中风行一时的运动。这一风格的主要审美意识是强调织体清晰,配器纯净,形式与结构平衡。而其中一些作品与这个时期之前的特殊的作曲家有着直接的关联。在这一创作运动中最著名的作曲家当属伊戈尔·斯特拉文斯基,他创作了大量作品,包括一首新巴赫风格的协奏曲,一首新佩尔格莱西风格的组曲《普尔钦奈拉》,以及一首新莫扎特风格的歌剧《浪子的历程》。

我总在思考,如果自己也采用这种类似的理念以及新古典主义的创作技巧,并将其运用到传统的中国古典或民间音乐中间的话,将会产生何种效果。尽管我的创作方式与斯特拉文斯基有些不同,但是在受邀为上海音乐学院创作这个小型作品时,我利用此次机会探索了这个理念。

《上海序曲》的创作灵感来自于两首著名的中国作品:《将军令》 和《紫竹调》。尽管这两首作品都来自于邻近上海的地区,在风格和色彩方面却有很大区别,一首富于雄威,另一首则清新典雅。

这首作品献给上海音乐学院,我的母校。我在这里接受了坚实的音乐基础教育。

—盛宗亮