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Concerto for Wind Symphony

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Zhou Long

Zhou Long


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Subtitle: Ancient Echoes


General Info

Year: 2017
Duration: 30:40
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Zhou Long
Cost: Score and Parts - No yet publicly available


Movements

1. Dong Huang Tai Yi (The Almighty Lord of the East) – 5:20
2. Yun Zhong Jun (To the God of Cloud) – 4:30
3. Xiang Jun (To the Lord of River Xiang) – 5:05
4. Shan Gui (The Goddess of the Mountain) – 5:40
5. Guo Shang (For Those Fallen for the Country) – 4:10
6. Li Hun (The Last Sacrifice) – 3:35


Instrumentation

Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
Contra-Bassoon
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II (I doubles soprano saxophone)
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
C Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III-IV
Euphonium I-II
Tuba
Harp
Timpani
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bowl Chime
  • Claves/Piccolo Block
  • Crotales
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gongs (2)
  • Marimba
  • Mark Tree
  • Opera Gongs (4)
  • Roto-toms (5)
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-Tam
  • Temple Blocks (5)
  • Triangle
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone
  • Water Cymbals
  • Wind Gong
  • Wood Blocks (5)
  • Xylophone


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Concerto for Wind Symphony: Ancient Echoes is my first large-scale work for symphonic winds. It is based on the ancient epic Nine Odes by Qu Yuan (c. 340-278 BCE). Throughout the creative process, I realized that this was not just an ancient epic about the Sidian ceremony; I was deeply affected by its romantic rhyme as well. I gained a newfound appreciation for the work of poet Qu Yuan, who borrowed the imagination of the gods to express his deepest thoughts and feelings of love (except in the first and last chapters, which are carols). His poetry helped establish both a musical tone and a set of ideas for the entire symphonic epic. This piece is based on the beauty of the poetic rhyme in Nine Odes. To me, they are odes to humankind, God, and Earth; this is the idea I pursued while composing.

Ancient Echoes includes six movements featuring a variety of instrumental combinations. The second movement, The Ruler within the Cloud, and the third movement, To the Lord of the River Xiang, feature the woodwinds and percussion, while the rest of the movements rely on the full wind symphony to evoke many vivid musical characters. These characters reflect dualities within the Han-Chu culture: ancient yet new, elegant yet natural, all while entertaining the human, praising God, and offering odes to the Earth.

The opening movement, Dong Huang Tai Yi (The Almighty Lord of the East), uses a bright, full sound and a dance-like rhythmic horn call. The second movement, Yun Zhong Jun (To the God of Cloud), features flowing woodwind clusters. In the third movement, Xiang Jun (To the Lord of River Xiang), I integrated the ups and downs of a Hunan folk tune into the solo woodwinds; here, the musical mood gradually becomes a light Allegretto; it’s like soaring in a dream. The music eventually aligns with the meaning of the verse as it calms down into deep thoughts of love.

The fourth movement, Shan Gui (The Goddess of the Mountain), is like a piece for a-capella choir. I have always felt that the wind ensemble is simply an enlarged choir. The fifth movement, Guo Shang (For Those Fallen for the Country), pertains neither to God nor a single person, but to all fallen heroes. Guo Shang segues immediately into the finale, Li Hun (The Last Sacrifice), which is also performed with full force. This attacca approach fuses the ode to the heroes with the final divine comedy, which in turn achieves the climax of the whole epic.

A heartfelt thank you to the many directors and institutions who participated in the consortium for Zhou Long’s Concerto for Wind Symphony: Ancient Echoes. This work received its premiere by the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory Wind Symphony, Steven D. Davis, conductor, in Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts as part of the 2017 College Band Directors National Association National Conference.

- Program Note by composer


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


Media


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Bowling Green (Ohio) State University Wind Symphony (Bruce Moss, conductor) – 28 February 2019
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing) Wind Symphony (Kevin Sedatole, conductor) – 7 February 2019
  • The Hartt Omni Wind Ensemble (West Hartford, Conn.) (Glen Adsit, conductor) – 8 December 2018
  • University of Colorado Boulder Wind Symphony (Donald J. McKinney, conductor) – 15 November 2018
  • Kennesaw (Ga.) University Wind Ensemble (David Kehler, conductor) – 16 November 2017
  • Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge) Wind Ensemble (Damon Talley, conductor?) – 5 October 2017
  • University of Miami (Fla.) Frost Wind Ensemble (Robert Carnochan, conductor) – 27 April 2017
  • University of Missouri at Kansas City Conservatory Wind Symphony (Steve Davis, conductor) – 17 March 2017 (CBDNA 2017 National Conference, Kansas City, Mo.) *Premiere Performance*


Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources

  • Long, Z. (2016). Concerto for Wind Symphony: Ancient Echoes [score]. Zhou Long: [s.l.]
  • University of Missouri at Kansas City Conservatory Wind Symphony concert program, 17 March 2017