Tan Dun | Earth Concerto for Ceramic Percussion and Orchestra
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“In my life, I have always considered Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (“The Song of the Earth”) to be a favorite,” says Tan Dun. “It was drawn from the words of famous Tang Dynasty wandering poets, most prominently Li Po, and composed with such passion and beauty that it has always been an inspiration to me.”


Earth Concerto for Ceramic Percussion and Orchestra is composed for 99 ceramic and stone instruments with large orchestra. It consists of three movements, the titles of which are similar to three movements from Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, which in turn are reference to the titles of Li Po’s poems.”


“I am always in belief that earth, like all other natural elements, holds a spirit, speaking with a language all its own, singing and vibrating alongside all beings.”


“As the oldest Chinese wisdom states: humans and nature are always one.”


“In harmony with this philosophy, I use the sounds of earth and stone instruments to symbolize the connection of the heavens and earth. The orchestra represents human beings. The antiphonal dialogue between the sounds of nature and the voice of human beings is, in my heart, the true song of the earth.”