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Resurrection 重生

for clarinet and chamber orchestra with electronics (2008)


Derek Bermel, Clarinet Solo; American Composers Orchestra, George Manahan, conductor

Premiere: Carnegie Hall, New York City 2009

The title Resurrection is adapted from the subtitle of a painting by Wassily Kandinsky, Composition V - Resurrection, which became the inspiration for the piece. With the assistance of some computer analysis, I was able to draw closer the relationship of the structure of the painting with the pitch and time structure.


There are two continuous movements. The first primarily utilizes Western techniques, which are concentrated on the dialogue between the clarinet and the orchestra, with an active and mostly dense orchestration; the second part is focused on the clarinet solo accompanied by various sounds that are blended with electronics and the orchestra. The material in the solo clarinet comes from a Peking opera play, The Battle of Jiu Jiang Kou.


The play tells a story of ancient China. At the end of Credit: Anna Björg the Yuan Dynasty (1206–1368), leaders of the army corps revolted against the rule of the Yuan Dynasty and competed with each other for dominance. The melodies of the clarinet imitate the conversations between the two main characters in the play, the warlord Chen Youliang (1320–1363) and his marshal, Zhang Dingbian. The latter tries to persuade Chen not to go into battle against the king, Zhu Yuanzhang, as he believes to do so would be to fall into a trap. Chen does not listen to Zhang and leads his troops into the ambush, and is finally defeated. Luckily, his loyal marshal rescues him at the mouth of the Jiu Jiang River. During the work the clarinet plays mainly on glissandos in order to reproduce the distinguished style of “speaking tunes” of the Peking opera." 

—Emerging Composers Series: Vol. 1
Click here to read the full article


ca. 18 min


clarinet solo-1(=picc).1.0.bcl.1(=cbn)-1.1Ctpt.1.1-perc(3)-harp-pft(=cel)-strings (



Underwood & American Composers Orchestra (ACO)


February 22, 2009
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