At the age of 19 Su Shi married his wife Wang Fu. Later he took up an official position in Sichuan and lived a happy and harmonious life with his wife, sharing joys and sorrows with one another. Ten years later Wang Fu died, her body buried in her family grave in her hometown. This poem was written when the poet woke from a dream of his beloved wife, a decade from her death. Though the living and the dead were forever separated, the emotional bond could never be cut, lingering on eternally. Su Shi’s poems are generally known for their heroic quality, but he can also be extremely precise, earnest, subtle and delicate in expressing his feelings. Jiang Tcheng Tse is one of those poems that people keep thinking of in life, in the silence of the night. Countless people have called it “unrivalled”.
For years I have kept searching for a male singer who is accomplished in traditional Chinese operas, has a solid education in vocal music, and possesses an outstanding sense and understanding in music, but I have failed to find one. In this work, I originally wanted MENG Meng to be dressed like a man, but then I found it pretentious, so I eventually decided to make this a female role. Male or female, it doesn’t matter as long as the singing reveals the profound thoughts and sentiments in the poem.
This is my maiden work in the field of chorus, but it is extremely demanding in such aspects as pitch, interval, rhythm variations, and texture changes. According to the choirmaster of the NCPA Chorus, this is one of the most difficult modern chorus music that they have ever seen since the foundation of the choir. The ignorant are fearless, so let me, an ignorant novice, just give it a try. I would like to take this opportunity to give my heart-felt gratitude to the NCPA and all the musicians in this program for their tolerance of me.