New York Philharmonic to perform Qigang Chen’s “Reflet d’un temps disparu”

Posted on: April 8, 2022

“Two years before Qigang Chen’s Central Conservatory classmates Tan Dun, Chen Yi, and Zhou Long relocated to the United States, Chen was the first of his illustrious composition class to leave China, in 1984, … to study in France,” writes Ken Smith in Wednesday’s (4/6) Playbill. “He met Olivier Messiaen and became his final pupil…. Says Chen…. ‘Messiaen was the first person to tell me you have to be true to yourself.’… New York Philharmonic audiences will encounter his Reflet d’un temps disparu for cello and orchestra, April 7–9, through an appropriately bicultural collaboration with two of Chen’s long-time champions: French cellist Gautier Capuçon and Chinese conductor and impresario Long Yu…. Capuçon says, ‘Every time I work with Qigang he sings the melody, and I can actually hear the tradition he’s felt in this song since his youth.’ … ‘The original tune comes from deep in Chinese tradition,’ Yu concurs…. ‘But Qigang’s composition is written in a contemporary international language…. It’s no longer Chinese, or even French. It’s Qigang’s music, like Das Lied von der Erde [a setting of German translations of Tang Dynasty poetry] is no longer Chinese or Germanic. It’s simply Mahler.’ ”