Q1. Please introduce the background of the piece ‘Aleppo’

Huang Guifang: ‘Aleppo’ is a sanxian concerto that will be premiered in Singapore. It was composed by Wang Chenwei, drawing inspiration from the Syrian Civil War. Wang Chenwei employed the unique sounds of the sanxian to create a concerto with a distinctive flavour. The first time I heard it, I was captivated, and I never thought that I would have the opportunity to perform it so soon! This composition depicts the history of Aleppo, a 7,000-year-old city in Syria. Since the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, Aleppo has suffered greatly, and many historical landmarks have been destroyed. The piece not only showcases the allure of Arab culture but also serves as a reminder of the destructive power of war. The composer wrote this line in the score, “this piece pays tribute to a rich cultural heritage devastated by war and expresses hope for the city’s restoration.” This line evokes images of war, the struggles of the people, and the eventual restoration of tranquility.

Q2: What are the main emotions portrayed in this piece?

Huang Guifang: The piece is divided into seven sections, each capturing different emotions and scenes. The first section celebrates the profound history of Aleppo. The second section paints a picture of the Citadel of Aleppo that represents its political significance. The third section depicts a bustling marketplace, portraying the joyful lives of the people. In the fourth section, tension grows as conflict brews, signifying the impending civil war. The fifth section portrays intense battles and exchanges of gunfire. Then, the sixth section conveys the suffering that follows, lamenting the loss of lives and cultural heritage. Finally, the seventh section presents the journey towards rebuilding and restoration, paving the way for a brighter future.

Q3: Could you share your thoughts on the challenges posed by this piece?

Huang Guifang: ‘Aleppo’ exhibits a distinct Arab musical style characterised by the use of microtones. Unlike the familiar sharps and flats, this composition employs the “neutral second” interval, which is neither a flat nor a natural but somewhere in between. This introduces a new stylistic challenge for me as it requires precise intonation. While the piece’s technical difficulty might not be very high, it offers substantial challenges in its musical expression, spanning seven sections that encompass emotions ranging from joy to anger, from sorrow to hope.

Q4: What are your thoughts on the distinctive musical style of this piece?

Huang Guifang: Among the sanxian repertoire, ‘Aleppo’ stands out as an exceptional piece in recent years. As a sanxian musician, I’m particularly excited about performing this musical work. Typically, my comfort zone lies more in traditional melodies, and I’m not frequently exposed to such contemporary styles. Due to the microtones used, adapting to this piece has taken a considerable amount of time. I’ve spent about 3-4 months practicing. Initially, I didn’t have much confidence. However, the journey of exploring this new musical style has turned out to be quite rewarding.

Q1: 请和大家介绍一下《阿勒颇》这首曲的背景。



Q2: 这首曲子主要表现了哪一些情绪变化?

黄桂芳: 这首曲子主要分为七小段,每一段都呈现了不同的情感和场景。第一段歌颂了阿勒颇古城的悠久历史;第二段描写了傲立于城中心山上的阿勒颇城堡及其政治地位;第三段以缤纷的集市为背景,展现了人们安逸、快乐的生活场景;然后在第四段中,冲突逐渐升温,预示着战争的迫近;第五段刻画了激烈的交战;那么战争以后带来的是人们的疾苦,这在的第六段中得到了深刻的表达;最终段落展现了战争以后人们恢复心态、重建家园,走上未来的道路。


Q3: 请问这首曲子对您来说是否具有挑战性?



Q4: 请问您对这首曲目独特的音乐风格有何看法?

黄桂芳: 在三弦的曲目当中,《阿勒颇》是近年很棒的一个作品。作为三弦演奏者,我特别希望能够来演奏这首曲子。实际上,我更习惯传统的旋律,鲜少涉足这种现代曲风。因为涉及到一些微分音,所以需要花费较长的时间来适应。我从收到乐谱到现在已经练习了3-4个月了。刚开始时,并没有太多自信。不过作为一个新的尝试,还是蛮有意思的!

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