Category:   ETHNIC MUSIC
Composer:   NA
Arranger:   Liu Zhuang
Publisher:   Boosey & Hawkeso
Edition:   OctB6828
Voicing:   SSAA
Setting:   Accompanied

Reviewer:   

Kathy Romey
University of Minnesota 2001
R&R Chair Ethnic Music

This set of three unaccompanied songs, arranged by Shanghai composer Liu Zhuang, exposes singers to traditional melodies, hamonic language and poetry from different regions in China. The score includes an IPA pronunciation guide to the texts, as well as an overview to vocal inflection of the spoken poetry. The music is of medium difficulty and is most challenging in terms of language. “Lan Hua Hua” (Blue Flower) is a plaintive folk song scored for SSAA and mezzo solo, which describes the beauty of a lovely and poor young woman who was sold and abused. The setting, ranging from a low F# – E2, is repetitive, often homophonic, and includes use of portamento. “Da Mai Hao Zi” (Threshing Wheat Song) is a holler sung during the harvest season. The folk melody is introduced in unison and develops from two parts into an upbeat six-part setting which is energetic in its rhythmic counterpoint. “Yang Guan San Dei” (Song of the Tang Dynasty) is a reflective song of farewell. Written as an undulating dialogue between upper and lower voices, it is a thoughtful conclusion to this beautiful cycle.