Snow on the River


Cynthia Lee Wong

Liu Zongyuan

Performance forces:
sop — orchestra ( – vib, mar, hp, cel, solo zhonghu (or solo vla) – str)



柳柳宗元《江雪》 千⼭山⻦鸟⻜飞绝, 万径⼈人踪灭。 孤⾈舟蓑笠翁, 独钓寒江雪。 Snow on the River by Liu Zongyuan On thousand mountains no sign of birds, On ten thousand paths no trace of man. A boat and an old man with straw rain cape, Fishes alone in cold river snow. The poet, tired of the boisterous political scene in a declining Tang Dynasty, uses minimalist words to paint a pure quiet landscape that is nowhere to be found in the real world. As the poet himself had been exiled from a tumultuous political scene, the poem also conveys a sense of isolation, sorrow, and loneliness. Despite being over 1000 years old, Snow on the Riverresonates with pandemic times — we can certainly understand the feeling of isolation under lockdown and seeking peace, away from politics. Alternative instrumentation: sop and fl, lb, hp, cel, str 4tet