Un Piccolo Divertimento (Dizi, Yangquin)
The composer had been amazed to listen and come to know the splendid musical capability of Dizi and Yangquin, demonstrated by Mr. Mingjun Wang and Ms. Min Lin in the summer 2017, of course, owing to the virtuosity of the two fabulous musicians. Dizi can run through very fast passages very lightly and precisely, and play slower melodies much expressively. Yangquin is maintaining its traditional characteristics of the instrument and can freely jump around, or expressively play tremolos (which is very much characteristic of the instrument) on the chromatic scale over full 4 octaves. I tried to fully take advantage of those amazing capabilities of the instruments, and make the music as much as delightful for the listeners.
Though it is a short piece with divertimento character, it consists of roughly 5 parts, i.e. Introduction, Exposition, Yangqin Cadenza, Recapitulation, and Development/Coda. It is a kind of a compacted sonata form with some twist. Introduction starts with ad libtum performance of Yangqin and it introduce the basic four-note motif for the entire composition, i.e. “d-fis-c-f”. In Exposition, Dizi plays the rhythmic first subject over the ostinato of 16-note figure by Yangqin. As Dizi is basically a D major-instrument, the major part of Exposition is based on F# Phrygian. The second subject is slower and based on the “d-fis-c-f” motif. Yangqin extends the tonal feeling from D major toward a multi tonal space. Then a short cadenza by Yangqin follows. Capitalizing the instrument’s 12-tone ability, the music develops freely in the 12-tone system. The Recapitulation is based on roughly A Mixolydian and the first subject appears in a variation form in Dizi. The last part is coda but it has in the same time characteristics of Development of the first subject and the basic motif of “d-fis-c-f”.
The composition premiered as a tentative version by O Mei-kun (Dizi) and Guo Min (Yangqin), on March 9, 2018, at “JFC Asian Traditional, Asian Contemporary”, in Tokyo, Japan, and premiered in the full version by Sham Kin-yu Kenneth (Dizi), Kwok Kaying (Yangqin) on May 31, 2018, “Aisan Tradition, Asian Contemporary”, in Hong Kong