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Ding Shan-de (1911-1996)
Prof. Ding Shan-de, renowned Chinese composer and pianist, was born in Kunshan, Jiangsu province. He studied the Chinese instruments from the teenage, and entered the Shanghai Music School to study piano with the pianist Boris Zakharoff. Ding's debut recital when he graduated form the SMS in 1935, was the first piano recital concert in the Chinese musical history! The Tianjin Women's Normal School and the Shanghai Music School then nominated him to lecturing the piano. Ding established Shanghai Music Society and himself was the curator. His composing career began from the 1940s.
In 1947 Ding went to France to study the composition at the Paris Conservatory, his tutors including Arthur Honegger and Nadia Boulanger. Ding graduated in 1949 and returned to China, teaching composition and piano in the Shanghai Conservatory and later took the position as the Deputy Director. He was also selected adjudicator of the international piano competitions as well as the international academic conferences. Prof. Ding was appointed Deputy Director of the China Musicians' Association and the Honorary Chairman of the Shanghai Musicians' Association.
Ding's major composition include the Long March Symphony, the Symphonic Suite New China, Symphony Poem Spring, Preludes, Piano Sonata in E major, String Quartet in E minor, Piano Trio in C major, and the Cantata Ode to the Huangpu River. This album collected Prof. Ding's major piano works since 1945.
[Track 1] Spring Suite, Op. 1
This is the first published work since Prof. Ding Shan-de decided to turn his point from the piano performance merely to composition in the May of 1945. The suite describes the joyfulness of the Chinese people who have known the victory of the Anti-Japanese War will be coming soon, it comprised 4 short pieces: Waiting for the Sunrise, In the Boat, On the Shore, Breezing in the Morning.
[Track 2] Piano Sonata in E major, Op. 2
Written during the period between the falls of 1945 to early 1946, the 3-movemet work reflects the joyfulness of the people to the victory of the Anti-Japanese War. Prof. Ding's Piano Sonata in E major is highly commended as the paradigm, which characterized of the typical folk traditions.
[Track 3] 3 Overtures, Op. 3
Composed during the 1947-1948, these composer's maiden works of his Paris years expressing composer's homesickness. The first overture is based on the traditional Shanxi folk tune, while the third overture comprises traditional Chinese Kunqu melodies.
[Track 4] Variations on the Chinese Folks Theme, Op. 4
Written in Paris, 1948. This Variations is considering as one of the first piano works excerpted the Chinese folks tune intro western style in music history of China, especially using the counterpoint methods.
[Track 5] Xinjiang Dance No. 1, Op. 5
The No. 1 Dance comprises 3 parts, written in 1950. The first and second parts are based on a traditional Xinjiang melody The Coachman's Song. The music expresses the festivity of the Xinjiang people for celebrating the liberation and the afflicted memories of the past.
[Track 6] Children's Suite, Op. 9, "Happy Holidays"
The suite completed in 1953, comprised of 5 pieces for drawing of children's life: I. Outing, II. Catching Butterfly, III. Skipping, IV. Hide-and-Seek, V. Holiday's Dance.
[Track 7] Xinjiang Dance No. 2, Op. 11
Written in 1955. The theme comes from a popular folk dance melody with lyrics tune and brilliant rhythm as well as rich-full chord. The Xingjiang Dance No. 2 is considered as the magnum opus of Prof. Ding Shan-de.
[Track 8] Toccata, Op 13
1959, Prof. Ding created this composition when he took part in a celebrating conference of the boatyard, influenced by the workers' hard work to the "socialist construction" of China.
[Track 9] Preludes and Fugue, Op. 29
The Preludes and Fugue was written for the children in 1988, which comprises folk tones of the major minority nationals in south China in four parts: (1) Pond & gladness, (2) grief & joy, (3) game, (4) exciting.
The Preludes and Fugue showing the later style of Prof. Ding, in which he used polyphonic method mixed with national color, figured as one of the best Chinese contemporary piano music.
[Track 10] 6 Preludes, Op. 34
Another piano suite dedicated to the children, finished in 1989. The scores have the function as the Etudes.
Translation by Zeng Wei
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DING: Piano Music