Anthony Cheung (1982)

Drifting (2005)

for four solo voices, clarinet and string quartet

  • General information
    • Composition date: 2005
    • Duration: 5 mn
    • Libretto (details, author):

      Tao Qian, traduit en anglais par Tan Shilin

Detailed formation
  • ensemble of vocal soloists(solo soprano [], solo contralto [], solo tenor [], solo bass voice []), clarinet, violin, second violin, viola, cello

Premiere information

  • Date: 2005

    États-Unis, Tanglewood Music Center


    les New Fromm Players et les stagiaires du Tanglewood Music Center, direction : Steve Mackey.

Program note

My setting of the fourth of Tao Qian's "Twenty Wine Poems" is based on Tan Shilin's vivid literary translation. This particular poem is often seen as an allusion to the reclusive poet's withdrawal from society. Tao Qian turned away from his life as a highly regarded official, retreating to his fields and to the natural world. His work, characterized by spare, abstract imagery, and often indebted to Daoist philosophy, was enormously influential to later Tang dynasty poets like Li Bai and Wang Wei. In the prologue to the "Twenty Wine Poems," Tao Qian writes: "With little to divert myself in my retirement, especially since the nights have begun to drag out, I've taken to drinking in the evenings, having come by a rare vintage. With my shadow for company, I drink my nightly portion to the dregs and myself to pleasant inebriety. Thus inspired, I take pleasure in dashing off a few lines."

Anthony Cheung, juin 2005.