Winter Solstice 冬至

The December winter solstice is a big day in Chinese tradition. With the shortest period of daylight and longest night of the year, it can also be seen as the herald of the real winter’s coming. The beginning of the piece shows the atmosphere by the tremolo of the string group as solo woodwind sound shows the implied hope and vitality of the silent season. The winter has multiple sides. Soon the percussion shows the hidden power of winter, while the counterpoint between the brass instruments adds the mysterious color of the big day. On this day people always like gathering together, preparing and eating special food. Other than that, the ceremony to worship the ancestors is also one important activity. Imagine people doing folk dance powerfully around the campfire and holding the ceremonies under the dark sky. This the B section (rehearsal mark B) wants to describe. All the activities and celebrations contain expectations of the future life. People thank the gods and the ancestors then pray for a good harvest and fortune in the upcoming year. The vibrant scene and spirit is reflected in the C and D sections. The ending is like an echo of the beginning, while the silent season goes back to its first look.

(This is a live recording performed by Nanjing Philharmonic Orchestra, premiered in 2018)