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Commissioned by the Minnesota Orchestra on the occasion of the orchestra's centennial, “First Sight” is an exhilarating symphonic dance inspired by folk dances of the Dai people in China’s Yunnan province. To capture the raw and mesmerizing movements of the dancers, the orchestra rises and falls through groovy rhythms and ever-changing intervals of seconds and thirds, almost sounding improvisational, yet precise in execution and development. The slower dance in the middle of the piece is calm and lyrical, as if clearing the stage in the morning in anticipation for a new night of musical venture. The score calls for piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, clarinet in E-flat, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (3 players: xylophone, crash and suspended cymbals, Chinese cymbal, tamtam, large temple bowl, snare drum, bass drum), harp, piano, and strings.

—Zhou Tian

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First Sight (2007)

Commissioned by The Minnesota Orchestra

Duration: 5 ½ minutes

Scoring: 3(picc).3(corA).3(Eb.Cl).3(cbn)/
4331/timp/3 perc/hp/pno/str

Premiere: 23 October 2007, Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, MN.
The Minnesota Orchestra
Sarah Hicks, conductor

SCORE SAMPLE

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