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Beautiful fresh flower

composer
Chinese melody
arranger
arranger
orchestration

 
In 1935, on reading a book by the American musicologist Joseph Yasser, which gave examples of purely pentatonic harmonisation, Percy Grainger took the Chinese folksong Beautiful fresh flower, harmonised it by using only the tune’s five notes, and set it for piano solo. (The melody is one of the several authentic Chinese tunes used by Puccini in Turandot, though Puccini’s harmonisation is not pentatonic.) In 1985, Ronald Stevenson played Grainger’s setting in China, and the Chinese musicians expressed great admiration, one of them even claiming 'Percy could certainly speak Chinese in music!' Grainger’s orchestration employed here—strings, vibraphone and tam-tam—has been made especially for this recording by fellow Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe. (From information kindly supplied by Ronald Stevenson.)

from notes by Steven Lloyd & Edward Johnson © 2020

Recordings

Grainger: Rambles and Reflections
CDH55454
Grainger: The warriors & other orchestral works
Studio Master: SIGCD2164Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

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