Mirror of the Past

Mirror of the Past

based on four Tang Dynasty poems

“In 2006, a Chinese colleague in Shanghai gave me a wonderful bilingual book of poems from the Tang Dynasty (618-907). These poems have as a common theme man’s wonder at and deep dependence on nature. In their apparently naive form, they explore the reverence humans used to have for nature, and give perspective to the distorted relationship we have today.”
Lars Hannibal

The poems of ancient China have fascinated and inspired western composers and as far back as the 1830s when Carl Loewe (1796-1869) first set verses from Goethe’s Chinesisch-deutsche Jahres- und Tageszeiten. This love affair would culminate most famously in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. While nowhere near as ambitious Mahler, Hannibal’s settings of Tang Dynasty poetry in Mirror of the Past do inhabit a similar emotional world as Mahler’s autumnal masterpiece, the contrapuntal interplay of percussion, voice, guitar, recorder and erhu sounding as if an ancient of painting has been brought to life. From the wistful melancholy of My Delayed Departure to the tolling of evening bells in The Dale of Singing Birds, Hannibal and friends take you on a fabulous journey through time and sound vivid captured in immersive DXD by the
internationally celebrated master of sound, Preben Iwan.
Joshua Cheek

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