Bright Sheng - China Dreams

updated 8 November 1996

Bright Sheng
China Dreams (1995)
Duration: ca 25'

Critical Acclaim:

Six seasons ago the Chicago Symphony performed Sheng's H'un, an expressionistic reminiscence of the violence and terror he experienced as a boy growing up in Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution. The four movements of China Dreams bring back some of those remembered horrors -- chiefly in the second, an agitated, high-energy Fanfare of furiously driving rhythms shot through with the dry clatter of percussion and drums. But the other three movements are evocative in effect, exuding a deep lyrical nostalgia for the China the revolution destroyed forever. All bespeak a remarkably skilled fusion of Western compositional techniques and melodic impulses drawn from Chinese folk song....China Dreams is music of eye-witness senses from every measure that these are pieces Sheng as a displaced emigre had to write.
-- John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune


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