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The Lotus Lovers

commissioned for Chanticleer
author of text
translator of text

The Lotus Lovers was the result of a commission for the male-voice a cappella group Chanticleer and features the poetry of Tzu Yeh, a ‘wine-shop woman’ who wrote rather erotic poetry in fourth-century China (contrary to the Japanese attribution printed on the published score). The seven movements were intended to be extractable for the purposes of Chanticleer’s touring repertoire, the fear being that two particular poems were too sensual for performance in sacred spaces. Illusions points the ear toward a sense of restlessness and yearning from the very start, the men’s voices seeming to pant in repetitive surges and mysterious echoes. The speaker is disheartened to realize they must endure the loneliness of night with only false illusions of their lost lover. Loneliness is also key to the mood of A rich brocade (originally titled Busy in the spring) as the sopranos sigh over open fifths in the lower voices and a steady, melodic chant from the altos. Each movement of The Lotus Lovers has its own, distinct personality in both poetry and musical setting, but here we find the two which are most alike in their sense of bright hope paired with realization of loss and occasional bitterness.

from notes by Stephen W Salts © 2015


Clausen & Paulus: Calm on the listening ear of night & other choral works
Studio Master: CDA68110Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


No 4: Illusions  The night is endless
Track 15 on CDA68110 [2'53]
No 6: A rich brocade  Bright moonlight fills the trees
Track 16 on CDA68110 [2'34]

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