Driving to work in the morning, I listen to NPR's Performance Today and
usually start in the middle of a work and get to the office before it
This morning a strange eastern/western symphonic piece was being played.
When I entered, it sounded like some on a Theramin. As passages got
faster it was obviously a stringed instrument with the range of a violin
being bowed. The tone and timbre were much different, sort of whining
and Theraminesque, though at times it could have been a violin. The music
it self reminded me of a pleasant film score...
I was wondering how someone could make a violin sound like that!. Finally
at work I got the answer on the NPR web site:
Concerto For the Chinese Erhu
The "Butterfly Lover's Concerto" is such an evocative title,
it almost doesn't matter what the music is about. A Chinese folk
tale was the inspiration for composer Chen Gang, in this concerto
for the traditional Chinese instrument called the "erhu." The
soloist is Xu Ke, one of the world's greatest erhu players,
and the Buffalo Philharmonic is directed by JoAnn Falletta.
I am amazed that a 2 stringed instrument has such a range and
variation in tone/timbre quality.
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