Path (2011)
for Oboe, English Horn, Viola, Cello and Piano

I. Lament
II. Scherzo
III. Prayer

Commissioned by Sylvanus Ensemble

World Premiere:
April 29, 2011
Sylvanus Ensemble Concert
Universalist Church, West Hartford, CT
Sylvanus Ensemble:
Ling-Fei Kang, oboe; Charles Huang, English horn; Kum Joung You, viola; Han-Wei Lu, cello; Wen-Hui Lily Lin, piano

Duration: 16 minutes

Program Notes

After accepting the commission of Sylvanus Ensemble, I learned from a message on Facebook that Katz Lynn, a beloved teacher of mine in my undergraduate years, died of liver cirrhosis on February 15, 2011.  As soon as I heard the news, all the scenes where he taught me about music appreciation and music acoustics came vividly to my mind.  As the final oral exams of these courses had taken place at his house, his humorous and friendly personality eased my nerves.  After I had received my first degree from SoochowUniversity, he had become not only one of my teachers, but more like a close friend.  These fleeting flashbacks cruelly showed that the time we had spent together would never come back; it only became part of my deepest memories.  All of a sudden, I was overwhelmed by sadness and began weeping quietly.  My friend Eliot Pan asked me if I were available in Taipei to say goodbye to Mr. Lynn in the funeral service on March 13, 2011.  For all my willingness to be there, I cannot because I am living and studying in the United States.  As a result, I want to offer my condolences in another way and bid him a good farewell.

Path for oboe, English horn, viola, cello and piano had been commissioned by Sylvanus Ensemble by this point in time, so I decided to dedicate this piece to the memory of Katz Lynn.  The first movement, “Lament”, projects a sense of sadness and sorrow that infiltrates into the mostly downward musical lines.  It portrays a physical journey, alternating between nostalgic melodies and a steady yet unstable march.  Because Mr. Lynn loved Dmitri Shostakovich’s music, in the second movement, “Scherzo”, I decided to quote three of Shostakovich’s symphonies, Nos. 5, 7 & 10, (the second movement of each), while recasting the famous “signature” motif [0134=DSCH] of Shostakovich.  Starting with a fugal section, this movement contains some quotations that create a sense of humor and vigorousness against the chaotic background to indicate how one faces changes at the crossroads of life.  The peaceful and gentle tune of the last movement, “Prayer”, is meant to be a blessing.  The running triplet figures symbolize the fleeting nature of time, bringing the overlapping gestures to an emotional climax.  It expresses the sorrow I have felt when I recall the good old days, yet it eventually becomes a blessing that warms my heart when I pray to the Lord.  The general title of the whole piece Path refers to the narrow, musical road that Mr. Lynn revealed to me and urged me to explore, and now I am walking on this path, paying homage to him through the music I conjure up.  Goodbye, Mr. Lynn.

This is the world premiere recording.


為雙簧管、英國管、中提琴、大提琴與鋼琴的《道路》被韻林五重奏在這個時間點上委託,所以我決定把這首曲子題獻並紀念林宜勝老師。第一樂章〈哀歌〉那無止盡下降的音樂線條發散著心碎而哀傷的情感,用著鄉愁的旋律跟穩定卻不平靜的進行曲描繪著一段人生的旅途。因為老師很喜歡俄國作曲家蕭士塔高維契的音樂,在第二樂章〈詼諧曲〉我於是決定引用三首蕭士塔高維契的交響曲,分別是第五號、第七號、第十號(都是第二樂章),而且同時使用著蕭士塔高維契著名的四音組宛如簽名的動機 [0134=DSCH]。這個樂章以賦格風起始,在一片混亂的背後,這些引用的片段製造了幽默風趣跟充滿能量的氛圍,在此意指著面對人生交叉路口上的轉變。終樂章〈祈禱〉用著平靜而溫柔的曲調成為一個祝福。連續的三連音音型象徵著時間的流逝,藉由這個音型的堆疊逐漸形成情緒的最高點,同時我使用著這個樂章對那些逝去的美好舊時光感到傷感,而當我向神祈禱,那些過往的時間最後變成一個發自心底的溫暖祝福。之所以為這三樂章作品題名為《道路》,就像是老師引領我探索這條狹窄的音樂道路,而現在我正走在這條道路上,用著我最鍾愛的音樂紀念他。再會,林宜勝老師。

– Feng-Hsu Lee (April 7, 2011 West Hartford, CT)

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