Five Bagatelles

Five Bagatelles (2009)
for Piano and String Quartet

I. On Alert
II.  Rainy Night of Flowers
III. Curves of the Wind
IV. Isolation
V. Hunting Song

Award: The First Prize of Washington International Competition for Composition (2012)

Commissioned by Performance 20/20 of the Hartt School

World Premiere:
April 2, 2010
Performance 20/20 Prism Concert
Berkman Recital Hall, The Hartt School, West Hartford, CT
Erberk Eryılmaz, piano; Samuel Martin, Andy Bhasin, violins; Laura Krentzman, viola; Haeyoon Shin, cello

Duration: 11 minutes

Program Notes

Five Bagatelles for piano and string quartet was commissioned by Performance 20/20 of the Hartt School, and composed during the fall of 2009.  Each miniature movement has its own title: “On Alert”, “Rainy Night of Flowers”, “Curves of the Wind”, “Isolation”, and “Hunting Song”.  Most of the movements are inspired by my observation of scenes from daily life, which touched me, and I have tried to recapture them musically, while granting them some poetic grace.

The first movement, “On Alert”, describes a chaotic situation where people are plunged into a panic, hearing a siren yet really knowing what has happened.  The second movement, “Rainy night of Flowers”, quotes a Taiwanese folk song (Rainy Night Flower), as a drizzling rain at night reminded me of all the yearning I have for my hometown.  The third movement, “Curves of the Wind”, pictures how leaves gradually fall to the ground, becoming lifeless in the wind.  The fourth movement, “Isolation”, is saturated with loneliness as if two people were completely estranged from each other.  Here, individual instruments are confined to their respective tiny area, playing their own tunes in solitude.  Lastly, “Hunting Song”, is inspired by Felix Mendelssohn’s Lieder Ohne Worte, Op. 19, No. 3.  Yet unlike his lyrical melody, I portray the intensiveness of a hunting scene.

This is the world premiere recording.

I. On Alert
II.  Rainy Night of Flowers
III. Curves of the Wind
IV. Isolation
V. Hunting Song

為鋼琴五重奏的《五首小品集》譜曲於2009年秋天,是美國哈特音樂院Performance 20/20的委託創作。五首短小的樂章有各自的標題, 分別是〈夜襲〉、〈花雨夜〉、〈風的線條〉、〈孤離〉、〈獵歌〉。大部分標題的靈感是來自日常生活的觀察,像是用相機捕捉瞬間鏡頭一般,然而我試圖用著抽象的語言把具體的事物描繪地更佳詩意化。

〈夜襲〉有個一個混亂的開始,人們聽到警報器響起的驚慌失措,進而注意事態的嚴重性而提高警覺的緊張心態。我引用了台灣民謠《雨夜花》在〈花雨夜〉中,在某個下著細雨的夜晚裡,引發了我思念故鄉的惆悵心情。〈風的線條〉曲初吹起狂烈的風,樹葉被吹亂飄在風中,而樹葉逐漸散落一地,曲末徒留風仍在空中。當我們獨處與世界隔離之時,〈孤離〉發散著靜謐與寂寥,每個樂器侷限在他們的地域裡唱著一首孤獨的歌。〈獵歌〉靈感來自孟德爾頌《無言歌》中的同名作品,不過曲中並不是悠揚如歌的旋律,而是描繪著劍拔弩張的狩獵場景。

– Feng-Hsu Lee (November 15, 2009 West Hartford, CT)

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