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Guo Wenjing - Riding on the Wind; Symphony in B Minor, Op. 39 'Hero' (2009)

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Guo Wenjing - Riding on the Wind; Symphony in B Minor, Op. 39 'Hero' (2009)

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1. Riding on the Wind: Overture for Orchestra and Military Band

Symphony in B Minor, Op. 39 "Hero"
2. I. The Spreading Flames
3. II. The Motherland

 

While Guo Wenjing's modernist scores have established him as one of China's most imaginative and individualistic contemporary composers, he can, when the occasion or a commission requires, produce works with a broad popular appeal. The current program features two works in this populist/nationalist idiom. The overture for orchestra and military band, "Riding on the Wind" makes a splendid noise, as well as slyly swiping some gestures from John Williams' score for "The Cowboys." More serious in tone is the B Minor "Heroic" Symphony, op. 39. Guo definitely knows his Shostakovich and Prokofiev - as can be heard in this grandiose Socialist-Realist "Heroic" Symphony. Throughout the score Guo quotes from L'Internationale, Dong Fang Hong (The East is Red), The March of the Volunteers (China's National Anthem) as well as a signature quote from composer Lu Qiming's "Ode to the Red Flag" (a work well-known to all Chinese concert goers).

Guo's music is utterly infectous - brilliantly orchestrated, witty, never over-staying its welcome. Even though neither of these works claim any pretense to the vangaurd, they are - with tongue firmly in cheek - "Revolutionary" ^_^ ---jayfan.com

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