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National Symphony Orchestra releases Hakka-themed album

2021-06-24
Focus Taiwan
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Photo courtesy of National Symphony Orchestra
Photo courtesy of National Symphony Orchestra

Taipei, June 22 (CNA) Conductor Lü Shao-chia and the National Symphony Orchestra have released a Hakka-themed album, which they said highlights Taiwan's cultural diversity.

The album, titled "From Formosa," is a gift to Taiwan, said Lü, who is of Hakka ethnicity. "Hakka culture is an integral part of Taiwan's cultural diversity," he said in a statement issued by the orchestra Monday.

Commissioned by the Hakka Affairs Council, the album features five pieces by composers of different generations, who all share a love for Taiwan, according to the statement.

One of the five pieces is "Bang Chhun Hong" ("Longing for the Spring Breeze") originally composed by the late Deng Yu-shian, who was credited as "the father of Taiwanese folk songs."

Deng's composition was rearranged for the National Symphony Orchestra by Tyzen Hsiao, who also has another piece called "The Angel from Formosa" on the new album.

Lü said "The Angel from Formosa" was often on the orchestra's program on its overseas tours between 2010 and 2020, when he served as its director.

Taiwanese expatriates are always moved by that piece, because it evokes feelings of patriotism and homesickness, the conductor said.

The other three compositions on the album are all by women, who incorporated different elements of Hakka culture and music into their compositions, the orchestra said.

The three pieces are "Tao of Meinong," by Li Yuan-chen; "Song of Reverberant Emerald," by Lin Ching-mei; and "Hakka Fantasy," by Uen Wang Hwang.

Released only on CD, the album will go on sale at noon Wednesday on the e-commerce sites OpenTix and Eslite, the orchestra said.

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