From Wind Repertory Project
Chen Qian

Chen Qian

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Subtitle: Return with Honor

N.B. The subtitle From All Sides also appears in some sources.

General Info

Duration: c. 14:30
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Manuscript
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Ambush! From All Sides is based on an historical story (traditional Chinese opera) picturing the battlefield of ancient war in China. The decisive battle of Gaixia was a well-known battle in Chinese history. As soon as the regime the Qin Dynasty (221 – 206 BC) was overthrown, fierce battle for the crown began between the armies of Chu under Xiang Yu and Han under Liu Bang. The 300,000 Han soldiers besieged Xiang Yu’s 100,000-strong army from Chu. Xiang Yu managed to break through the encirclement with 800 cavalrymen, but 5,000 Han horsemen were hot on his heels. The final decisive battle took place beside the Wujiang River. The Han army had laid an ambush on all sides. Xiang Yu, lord of Chu, knew that he had been utterly defeated and had to commit suicide.

The composer wanted to elaborate on the picture as shown through this composition played by wind band. The music is constructed continuously like the Chinese painting (painting is done by using a brush on paper or silk, often with black ink alone. It is a monochromatic work of art, perhaps, derived from calligraphy. A Chinese painting is a distinctive object based on centuries-old traditions common to many things in China.) with following story-line: 1. Worship of primitive simplicity 2. World of fancy and wonder 3. The reflection from one’s inner reality 4. Harmony with nature 5. Knowledge of no-knowledge This music was composed like the painting style and technique: priority of colors (different level of gray from dark to paper white), blank space (silence), the use of Mo, freehand brushwork, etc.

This work was commissioned by and dedicated to Dr. Matthew George and the University of St. Thomas Symphonic Wind Ensemble.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer


None discovered thus far.