Xuefei


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Written as the set piece for the 2017 Changsha International Guitar Festival. Decicated to Xuefei & the 2017 Festival.

First performance will be given by competitors at the Changsha International Guitar Festival, July 2017.

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A nocturne which pays homage to the Melbourne artist Clarice Beckett (1887-1935), whose mysterious, gently epiphanic visions of suburban dusk, night and fog reveal the extraordinary within the ordinary.

Commissioned for Xuefei by Melbourne Recital Centre. First performed at the Melbourne Recital Centre, 3rd November 2016.

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The Book of Songs is the oldest existing collection of Chinese poetry. The three hundred poems date from the 11th to 7th centuries BC and illustrate many aspects of private and public life – courtship, marriage, lamentation, separation, fighting, feasting, singing, dancing, and drinking. This song cycle draws on poems from the Book of Songs and on other sources of ancient Chinese poetry.

Commissioned by Ian Bostridge and Xuefei Yang. First performed at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, London, 30th November 2014. Recorded on Songs From Our Ancestors (Globe).

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The Book of Songs is the oldest existing collection of Chinese poetry. The three hundred poems date from the 11th to 7th centuries BC and illustrate many aspects of private and public life – courtship, marriage, lamentation, separation, fighting, feasting, singing, dancing, and drinking. This song cycle draws on poems from the Book of Songs and on other sources of ancient Chinese poetry.Xuefei's name is taken from a poem in the Book of Songs.

First performed at King’s Place, London, on 22nd October 2014.

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"A large amount of my music is inspired by poetry or nature. I read a poem by one of my favourite poets, Phillip Larkin called Aubade. Aubade means a song or poem to bring in the morning. It is like an evocation of the sun rising out of darkness and gradually the morning coming to life." - William Lovelady

First performed at Hagley Hall, 27th April 2013.

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"I have seen many of this composer’s works over the years but few have impressed me as much as this piece. It could have been so stilted and hackneyed, for it is so easy to write an oriental styled piece full of merely a string of fourths and a few pentatonic runs but this piece is so much more and has shown the composer to be at his most inspired. I loved this piece as I’m sure Xuefei Yang does, and that you all do too. Great!" - Chris Dumigan (Classical Guitar Magazine)

First performed at West Dean, 17th August 2013.

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The first Chen Yi composition for solo guitar - automatically making a significant and captivating contribution to the instrument's repertoire.

The inspiration of composing this piece came from the art form of musical story telling in China, Shuo Chang. The musical style is influenced by Jing Yun Da Gu from northern China, in which the folk musician(s) would sing, recite, and speak while telling stories, and play a drum in the interludes, while a small group of Chinese traditional instrumentalists playing the accompaniment, led by the plucked instrument Sanxian (a 3-string lute with a long neck and fingerboard). The guitar plays all roles in an imagined performance of Chinese Shuo Chang, as the singer, the drummer, the ensemble musicians, and the dancers, all in one.

Commissioned for Xuefei by Wigmore Hall. First performed at Wigmore Hall, 11th March 2013.

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The Autumn Song is based on the various ancient Chinese poems and stories about the parting of lovers. Specifically, due to the male partner having to go and serve in the building or guarding of the Great Wall of China. The music evokes the melancholic character of loss – in particular, that quality of ambiguity caused by the fact that neither partner knows if the loss is temporary or permanent.

Commissioned by Natalie Clein and Xuefei Yang. First performed at the Macau Festival, China, on 13th October 2009. UK premiere at Wigmore Hall, London, on 3rd February 2010.

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Commissioned by EMI Classics for Xuefei Yang, the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya and conductor Eiji Oue. First performed with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Shi-Yeon Sung conducting, at Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, 24th October 2009. Recording "Rodrigo" (EMI). Piano reduction also available

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This set of four pieces, based on Chinese folksongs, attempts to evoke the peaceful and contemplative atmosphere of a traditional Chinese garden. The selected folksongs exploit flower allegories to reveal their meaning.

First live performance at the Wigmore Hall, London, on 16th April 2008. The first broadcast performance on 14th April 2008, on BBC Radio 3. Recorded on 40 Degrees North (EMI).

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In 1978 the Beijing Film Academy opened its doors to a new group of students, having been shut down for a decade during the Cultural Revolution. These students, known as the Fifth Generation, became the first group of Chinese filmmakers to receive world recognition. Raise the Red Lantern (2003/04) is a set of pieces for guitar based on films made by these directors in the 1980s and 90s.

First performed at Wigmore Hall, London, on 19th April 2004. Several songs were recorded on Si Ji (GSP).

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Commissioned for Xuefei by GSP for her Si Ji recording.

Recorded on Si Ji (GSP).

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Commissioned for Xuefei by GSP for her Si Ji recording.

"...an exciting and creative work with well-integrated musical ideas which include many percussion and pitch effects."  Albert Kunze, Soundboard Magazine

Recorded on Si Ji (GSP).

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"The impressionistic "Insectos Pajaros y Nubes" (insects, birds and clouds) with its distinctly oriental flavor is dedicated to the Chinese guitarist Yang Xuefei and shows another side to this talented composer." - Steve Marsh, Classical Guitar Magazine

""Merlin is a master of his craft, and this piece is a welcome part of our repertoire that would fit nicely into a set of other Merlin compositions for a concert." - Michael Nigro, Soundboard Magazine

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The title, Tears for the Children of Syria, is in German - Germany being the country most welcoming to the refugees.

Written for Xuefei by Peter McCarthy, 2017.

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Inspired by the tittle of Eric Linklater's homonym children's phantasy novel. The idea of this composition is to describe two opposite forces, the light and the darkness, which both strive to mingle as one main unity. The texture is full of contradictions; sudden changes of dynamics and tempo, registral extremes, and dizzying speed are some of the characteristics that intensify this idea. Tuning D-C-F-G-B-A

Commissioned for Xuefei by Music in the Village, Walthamstow.

First performed in St. Mary's Church, Walthamstow, London 2016.

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Solo guitar. Modern guitar music in 7 movements with Chinese influence. The titles of the movements were chosen using I Ching sticks. Tuning: C-G-d-g-h-e.

Written for Xuefei in 2003.

First performed in UK in 2004. Recorded on Si Ji (GSP).

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"It was guitarist Xuefei Yang who gave the most surprising recital. In Xiaoyong Chen's Static and Rotation, her guitar created an astonishing variety of sounds, from bell-like harmonics to weird scrapes and noises. She gave the world premiere of Timothy Salter's Equipoise, a balancing act between intense musical contrasts." Guardian 2003.

Written for Xuefei in 2002.

First performed at the Purcell Room, London 2003.

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Welcome to the world of guitar, boys and girls! As a child, I vividly remember the sheer enjoyment and fun of playing guitar. So for this book I selected some pieces that I enjoy. Use your imagination to think about the pieces and the sounds. Be playful in exploring the timbres, colours and effects. Above all, have fun playing this music!

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This repertoire book is aimed at beginners who are looking to enjoy playing music whilst developing their basic technique. I have selected pieces that expose you to a wide variety of music styles & guitar technique.

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At this level, you can already play some basic pieces on the guitar, and are eager to improve your technique further. The pieces selected for this book are those I personally enjoy playing. They will expose you to a wide range of music styles whilst developing your technique and musicality. And believe me, at this level, you can make beautiful music if you are willing.

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This book is aimed at the more advanced player. I have hand-picked some pieces that I enjoy playing. I have included music from a variety of cultures, but with a particular emphasis on my own Chinese heritage. Several of these pieces were written for me. I hope this book and the music it contains will inspire you.

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A limited edition score of the repertoire recorded by Xuefei on Romance de Amor.

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Free download of Xuefei's arrangment of Albeniz's Malaguena, from Espana - Seis Hojas de Album, Op. 165. As recorded on 40 Degrees North.