Infinite Rain (Original composition, Li Yu, Zhang Zhi-he, Liu Yong, China)
Yip, Stephen Shukin
Gottschalk, Arthur W.
Doctor of Musical Arts
Infinite Rain is based on three different T'ang and Sung lyric poems. Lyric poetry refers to poems composed to certain tunes. These three lyric poems come from different Chinese dynasties, but they all depict rain in varying moods. Musically, there are three sections, but without breaks between the sections; hence the title, Infinite Rain. The formal structure of the entire work is in arch form: there are two divisions in the first movement, the second movement is in ABA form, and there two divisions in the last. The basic materials of the in three sections are related, and are used throughout the work. (1) Ripples Shifting Sand was written by Li Yu (937--978), in the Southern T'ang of Five Dynasty, and expresses the sadness of the poet through a description of springtime's everlasting rain. (2) A Fisherman's Song, was written by Zhang Zhi-he (730--782), in the T'ang Dynasty. The fisherman of this poem is symbolic of man in harmony with nature. The fisherman was enjoying life, as he fished in a light rain. The solo cello is used to imitate the most characteristic Chinese of instrument, the Ch'in, a long fretted zither. (3) Bells Ringing in the Rain, was written by Liu Yong (987--1053) during the Sung Dynasty, and describes a sudden heavy shower on an autumn day. This is the most emotional and expressive poem of the three. The lyric depicts the sorrow of a pair of lovers bidding farewell before the pavilion at the city gate of the capitol.
Music; Asian literature