Walking on the Falling Leaves and Snow

Walking on the Falling Leaves and Snow (2011)
for Alto Saxophone and Piano

I. Autumn Snow
II. Autumn Leaves

Commissioned by Chih-Huan Wu

World Premiere:
December 15, 2016
2016 Asian Saxophone Congress
Concert Hall, National Chiayi Univeristy, Chiayi, Taiwan
(One of selected pieces in the semi-final round, the senior division of ASC International Competition 2016)
Competition participants
2016 Asian Saxophone Congress
US Premiere:
April 28, 2017
Arthur Ting-Hua Liang Performer Diploma Recital
Sweeney Hall, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Arthur Ting-Hua Liang, alto saxophone; Theresa Leung, piano

Duration: 12 minutes

Program Notes

Walking on the Falling Leaves and Snow for alto saxophone and piano is commissioned by saxophonist Chih-Huan Wu and inspired by the rare snowstorm that stroke the northeast coast of the United States in October 29, 2011. The disaster resulted in causing more than three million people to live in the dark and freezing temperature without power and hot water, and almost one million people had suffered from power outage for more than one week. Many trees broke under the heavy weight of snow borne by the remaining red leaves. Snapped branches and fallen frozen red leaves rendered this autumn very sentimental.

Walking on the Falling Leaves and Snow is a piece with two contrasting movements (e.g. fast and slow). The first movement of this piece is titled as “Autumn Snow.” The major second interval, symbolizing snow, begins with an extreme high range of piano and soon changes the gesture from the high to the low. The change of register indicates that the briskly falling light snow turns into mud and something aggressive on the earth. Saxophone here serves as a witness to the unbelievable scene. Meanwhile, as if to emphasize the confusion and disorientation of the witness, notes jump from one to another, and a melody is hardly produced. The second movement titled as “Autumn Leaves” is a lament. Sorrow implodes within the whole movement, for autumn leaves with their richness are suddenly reaped by the unpredictable snow. As their beauty goes wasted and unappreciated, what has been left is the utter brutality of the snow. The chromatic downward harmonic progressions indicate the bleakness and devastation caused by the rare snowstorm, and the sentimental melody of saxophone is the mourning for the loss of the autumn’s harvest and beauty.

接受了薩克斯風家吳志桓的委託創作,我譜寫了為中音薩克斯風與鋼琴的《漫步在紅葉與白雪的路上》,這首曲子的靈感來源是2011年10月29日在北美地區發生的罕見十月暴風雪。這場災難造成了超過三百萬人的家裡停電停水,生活在黑暗裡與冰點的溫度,近乎一百萬人甚至停電停水超過一個禮拜。許多大樹因為濕冷的雪沾黏在葉子上,支撐不了重量應聲斷裂,斷垣殘枝還有被冰封的紅葉,這樣災難的景色讓秋天變得更加蕭瑟而多愁善感。

《漫步在紅葉與白雪的路上》是一個有兩個對比樂章(快與慢)的曲子,第一樂章〈秋雪〉,鋼琴的大二度象徵著落下的白雪,開始在非常高的音域,然後移動到低音域。這樣的改變音域就像是原本輕靈浪漫的白雪變成有威脅性而且非常泥濘的暴風雪。薩克斯風像似看著這難以置信景象的目擊者,一切變得迷惑混亂的時序,不連續的音符不停地跳躍在寬廣的音域。第二樂章〈秋葉〉是一個悲歌,原本美麗的紅葉突然被這樣不可預期的白雪冰封,這樣的美麗正要被看見的同時,最後的下場只能在這樣一片慘白中被掩埋,非常哀傷的情緒發散著整個樂章。半音下行的和絃進行意指著罕見大雪帶來的荒廢蒼涼,薩克斯風的旋律就像是哀悼著已經遺失的美麗秋景。

– Feng-Hsu Lee (November 26, 2011 West Hartford, CT)

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