Composer - Chang, Yu-Hui

Flicker – 3’ (Commissioned by the Triple Helix Piano Trio for The Spirit of Mozart project, 2008)

Using a decidedly contemporary language of diverse harmonic color, inventive timbre and ingenious effects, award-winning composer Yu-Hui Chang has written a wide range of music that compels and resonates with professional musicians and audiences alike.  She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, and commissions from Fromm, Koussevitzky, Barlow, and Meet The Composer. Her compositions have been performed across continents in the Netherlands, Italy, UK, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and throughout the U.S. to critical acclaim by many first-rate musicians and organizations.

The composer writes: “Even though I consider the Requiem as my favorite among Mozart’s works, it is the Die Zauberflöte to which I am most personally attached. I was ten years old when I first attended an opera performance, a local production of Die Zauberflöte in my hometown in Taiwan, which was directed by my mother’s voice teacher. As soon as the Overture ended, a two-story high dragon appeared on stage – instead of the originally indicated serpent – chasing the protagonist Tamino.  

This was only the beginning of the magic that night, at least in a child’s mind. Although I had little clue as to what the story was about, despite everything being sung in Mandarin, I was fascinated at once. What impressed me was not only the nearly impossible vocal acrobats, or the man covered with colorful feathers, but also the music itself that was so lively and original. Since then I have been a Queen-of-the-Night want-to-be, and I even marched in my wedding to the accompaniment of Pamina and Papageno’s duet, Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen. Listening to this opera is for me a mixture between the immediate musical enjoyment and the flashes of people, places, or time that now make up many fond memories.

 So when the Triple Helix asked me to be part of their Mozart project, I immediately thought of this opera. As it is not possible to condense what is in an opera into a three-minute trio, Flicker works as an extraction of that liveliness, with several musical quotations embedded.”

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