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Fantasia on the Theme of Plum Blossoms

for string quartet (2004), ca. 15’

The musical material of this piece is loosely derived from a popular Nanguan melody, Mei-Hua (Plum Blossoms).  Nanguan, a traditional southern style Chinese/Taiwanese music, dates back to 500AD.  This same melody serves as a basis for all three movements.  In the fantasia like first movement the Nanguan melody is first subtly introduced in a fragmented way.  By its end, a more complete and continuous version of the melody appears.  The second scherzo like movement takes the faster and active passages from the first movement as a basis for playful and energetic music.  The rich and elegant Nanguan melody is most apparent in the lyrical, contrapuntal final movement.

 

Mei-Hua for String Quartet is dedicated to Nai-Yuan Hu and the Formosa Quartet.  This commission was made possible, in part, by support from the Caramoor International Music Festival; it received its World Premiere on June 28, 2007 at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts by the Formosa Quartet.

Score available from Trigon Music Press