semi-improvised music, performed in a gig at City Screen Basement, Jan 2011
Download Score (PDF)
This composition was improvised during a night’s stay in the electronic music laboratory in CUHK. It was recorded as MIDI and sequenced with Cubase SX2 and Kontakt.
a composition for piano by Li Cheong in 2005, based on a Chinese Qin tunes
Nancy Loo, piano
The Song of Guang-ling is originally a traditional piece written for guqin, the seven string zither. Guqin is often regarded as an instrument of the literati in the ancient China. While most guqin music are calm, gentle and meditative, the Song of Guangling is exceptionally vigorous and dramatic. The story of the piece was about the assassination of a noble during the Warrior State period of China. The score of the piece was published in Shen Qi Mi Pu (1425 A.D.) in the Ming dynasty, yet the earliest record of the piece can be dated back to the Han Dynasty (25-220A.D.)
This piano piece is a modern approach to the ancient theme. It is not a direct transcription, but a reconstruction of the theme with a tint of modern western harmony. While guqin is more capable to elaborate on a single line melody with various kinds of vibrato and sliding tone, piano is more capable for playing chords. Modern western harmonies influenced by Messiaen and Stravinsky are added to the original melody to display a greater variety of tone colour.
written in 1999-2003
I. Allegro – Meno mosso – Allegro con moto
II. Andante – Poco con moto
III. Allegro – Andante – Tempo primo
Third movement premiered by Alfred WONG (piano primo), LI Cheong (piano secondo)
Macau APA, May 2001
Whole suite premiered by CHU Hang Chun (piano primo) and LI Cheong (piano secundo)
on 18 Feb 2003
Lee Hysan Concert Hall, CUHK
Composition Concert 2003
Score (PDF): All movements
(Program Notes by Alfred WONG)
The writing of this piano suite spanned through various stages of composer’s adolescence, yet the suite was in a coherent style. It also displays the composer’s creative mind of writing music.
The first movement was written around secondary six and seven. The modal writing and the characterized augmented fourth oscillations suggest an image of music from Middle East. After the free elaboration of the theme in meno mosso, the music suddenly drives to an exciting ending.
In the second movement, the music begins with a Gregorian-chant like melody followed by a long polyphonic section. It came in composer’s mind for long when he studied medieval music history in first year of music study, though it is not realized on paper until now. The theme is derived from the 3rd movement, in which the theme is also modal. There is no meter in general, and some dotted barlines are used to indicate entrance points. Later the music comes to a 6/8-time. Composer said that perhaps he wants to imitate the style of medieval music, both sacred and secular. The Gregorian chant reappears at the end and leads to the third movement.
The final movement was written in year one around 1999 to 2000. It is highly rhythmic with frequent meter changes, perhaps influenced by Bela Bartok. It was premiered in School of Music, Macau Conservatory in summer of 2001 by Alfred Wong and Li Cheong at the piano. The middle section of this movement of the current version the has been revised.
written in 2000
LI Cheong, Piano
Lee Hysan Concert Hall, CUHK
Bauhinia Concert (Oct, 2001)
This piano piece is written during July and August 2000. This piece is much improvisatory in its content. Unrelated, fragmented themes are often juxtaposed successively. Phrases are often incomplete, interrupted by sudden switch of mood. Two extremes of emotions are prevailing in the piece: one is violent, despairing and frustrating; the other is nostalgic and sorrowful. A heavy cluster is played with arms at the end, symbolizing the extinguished hope.