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Landscape | 山水

for Symphony Orchestra


reading by RSO at Nicholas Music Center, NJ


May, 2016






excerpt-Landscape for Symphony Orchestra-RSO reading - Anqi Liu
00:00 / 00:00


The composer infused her first orchestral composition with her naturalist view and humanistic concepts. The first movement was intended to evoke an atmosphere of a hermit Shangri-La, with an emphasis on the inevitable karma that has acted on the Chinese literati for thousands of years: a paradox between a solitary soul longing for isolation in nature and an aspiration for contributing to the world. In the final string melodic fabric of the first movement, the literati image is to be sublimated. However, this sublimation is stuck in the sphere of artistic consciousness; therefore, the artist's role is seen as abandoning oneself to nature, becoming immersed in the landscape, and indulging in self-admiration.


Unlike the peaceful water in the image of the traditional Chinese landscape, the great work of Chinese literature, “The Classic of Mountain and Seas”, portrays ancestors who possessed the grandeur and torrential horizon of the ocean's power, as evidenced by the title. The real heroism is never a narcissistic abandonment to nature but rather involves an awareness of the notion that the only way to keep a drop of pure water is to let it flow to the sea.


To the contrary, in the second movement, after having seen the surging sea in which he/she struggles and fights, the literati's inner pure idealism is truly awakened and sublimated in disillusionment. This sublimation is therefore cultivated in the collapse of the Utopia of the literati’s innermost heart with the regeneration of the new realistic world. The literati gradually realize the profound meaning of the salvation. Literati are no longer abandoning themselves to nature; instead, they come to understand that being a soldier and a hero involves a quest for truth and the fight for the human rights. This is also the deep understanding of the karma in which the composer herself will emulate as a contemporary literatus.  

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