Red Trees, Wrinkled Cliffs (2011)

Commissioned by The Curtis Institute of Music

Duration: 10 minutes

Scoring: guitar, violin, viola, and cello

Jason Vieaux, guitar
Nadir Khashimov, violin
Roberto Díaz, viola
Eric Han, cello
25 January 2012, The Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, PA.

Score Sample


Program Note

Commissioned by The Curtis Institute of Music for Curtis On Tour around the world, “Red Trees, Wrinkled Cliffs” is a 10-minute musical journey inspired by the mountains and cliffs in Sichuan, China. Mountains have long been a major subject and inspiration in classical Chinese art and literature, which often carry a great sense of poignancy and expressiveness through sparse, simple words and imaginative images. As a composer, I wanted to create a musical piece that presents such qualities, and I could not think of a better combination of instruments than the guitar and strings to form a delicate and colorful soundscape, and to express a sense of tenderness and vivid energy associated with those mystic mountains.

The work, consisting of two movements, begins with a songlike and lyrical meditation, followed by a fast and playful finale.

—Zhou Tian


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