2017 Vivian Fung
Commissioned by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and Chamber Music Northwest with the support of the CMNW Commissioning Fund
“Clarinet Quintet: Frenetic Memories” is inspired both by the music of minority groups in Southwest China and by my travels to that region in 2012. My memories of the trip are simultaneously vivid and scattered–we heard many different groups and stayed with local families and farmers, taking in many new sounds, sights, and experiences, and at times it was a bit overwhelming.
This quintet uses the sounds I heard as a departure for my own original music, with paraphrases here and there from different sources. Overall, the music is quite intense and evocative and especially features the clarinet in a virtuosic way. At the very end, I request that a recording of an Yi minority folk singer singing “Wei Mountain Song” (excerpt directly below) be played as a paean to this extraordinary and little known music.
The work is dedicated to ethnomusicologist Zhang Xingrong (张兴荣).
This excerpt is taken from the Pan Records album “Baishibai” compiled by ethnomusicologist Zhang Xingrong. The name of the song is 巍山县彝族山歌 (Wei Mountain County Yi Folk Song) sung by female folk singer 左丽梅 (Zuo Limei).