The introduction of a new instrumental piece—specifically Taiwanese—into the cello repertoire is as exciting as it is important. Currently, the majority of works for cello and piano include predominantly Western compositions that is repeatedly taught and performed. Reflections, by Taiwanese composer Ming-Hsiu Yen (Ms. Yen) is a response to this saturation. It is a piece that is both demanding for the performers and entertaining for the audience. Brilliantly written by a composer who has intimate familiarity with both the cello and piano, it is highly suitable for scholarly study and performance.
This document details ensemble issues, interpretative suggestions for both cellist and pianist, and general concepts about the music. The composer further adds to these concepts and suggestions.
Reflections is a programmatic work comprised of four movements, each with a descriptive title: “Gear,” “Tears of the Angel,” “Spintop,” and “Transformation.” Because the composer’s intentions were driven by pictorial ideas and not by a formal harmonic structure, this paper concentrates on ensemble issues and interpretation less than harmonic analysis.
Secondly, the project includes the premiere recording of Reflections, as performer by Yu-Ting Tseng, cellist, and Dr. Jeremy Peterman, pianist. This audio documentation provides other cellists and pianists the opportunity of hearing the piece as originally conceived by the composer, as an aid to their own future preparation of this work. This recording, combined with the interpretative analysis, will assist in bringing Reflections into the cello repertoire and public eye.