Koncert skrzypcowy Butterfly Lovers

2012-08-17 10:02 ChineseTime

Chinese Romantic Muciscal : liáng zhù
                                                   梁    祝

The Butterfly Lovers' Violin Concerto

The Butterfly Lovers' Violin Concerto (Chinese: 梁祝小提琴协奏曲) is one of the most famous works of Chinese music and certainly one of the most famous outside of China. It is an orchestral adaptation of an ancient legend, the Butterfly Lovers. Written for the western style orchestra, it features a solo violin played using some Chinese techniques.

Traditional Chinese composers often write in a different tonal system than western classical music. As a result, this can make the music sound constantly out of tune to some Western ears. The Butterfly Lovers' Violin Concerto is written in traditional 5-note technique (pentatonic scale), it utilizes many Chinese melodies, chord structures and patterns.

The Butterfly Lovers' Violin Concerto was written in 1959 by two Chinese composers, Chen Gang (陈钢, born 1935) and He Zhanhao (何占豪, born 1933), while they were students at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.[1] The music did not acquire popularity before the late 1970s, when China loosened its restrictions after the Cultural Revolution. Once released from censorship, it became an embodiment of China in transition. The work is a common feature in figure skating and in concert halls worldwide. This concerto is now often performed with Chinese instruments playing the violin part, the most common being Erhu, Pipa and Liuqin. In such cases the soloist is often accompanied by an orchestra consisting of Chinese instruments.

He Zhanhao is more widely credited for the composition of the concerto. However, his main contribution was the famous opening theme while most of the development was in fact written by Chen Gang. This was revealed in an exclusive interview with the latter.

The debut of the Butterfly Lovers' Violin Concerto was performed by Yu Lina at the age of 18 in Shanghai as part of the celebration of the 10th anniversary year of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Along with Yu Lina, one of the first violinists who made a recording of this concerto was made in 1959 with SHEN Rong as the soloist with the Symphony Orchestra of Shanghai Music Conservatory conducted by FAN Cheng-wu.



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