The piece was commissioned by New Century Chamber Orchestra, Odessa Classics Festival, and Istanbul Music Festival — while the concert was dedicated to all those who have suffered and died from the pandemic and racial violence.
"I have known Tan Dun for 8 or 9 years," violinist Daniel Hope said. "He is a magnificent composer. He is somebody who is so full of vision. I have learned so much from him about the synergy of East and West."
"I thought it would be wonderful to ask him if he might consider writing a piece for New Century. I reached out to him and he said yes immediately. The piece is full of energy, full of beautiful colors [...] with amazing sounds from this sort of Asian sound world right into the West in a way that only Tan Dun can do."
The piece is adapted from a triple concerto for orchestra that Tan Dun wrote a few years ago.
"Music is my language," Tan Dun said in an interview with The New York Times. "To me 'West' and 'East' are just ways of talking — or like ways of cooking. I’m a chef, and sometimes I find my recipe is like my orchestrations. It would be so boring if you asked me to cook in one style. Eastern and Western, then, have for me become a unique recipe in which one plus one equals one."
The program also presented the West Coast Premiere of composer Aaron Jay Kernis's "Elegy (to those we lost)" and Ernest Bloch Concerto Grosso No. 1.
"It's very poignant to perform a piece which is directly connected to this terrible pandemic," violinist Daniel Hope said about 'Elegy.'
"I have lost colleagues. Many of the players have lost many more. The piece is beautifully constructed. It's haunting, it's reminiscent, it's melancolic. It has all of the traits of a wonderful piece of music. Yet when you know there is this extra connection, then it makes it all the more powerful somehow," he concluded.
(Tan Dun's Double Concerto starts at 38:24)
TAN DUN | DOUBLE CONCERTO | DANIEL HOPE | ALEXEY BOTVINOV | NEW CENTURY CHAMBER ORCHESTRA | 2021