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Mark Sensinger | Suite In D for Harp and Orchestra - The Taiwan Sketches

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Suite In D for Harp and Orchestra - The Taiwan Sketches

by Mark Sensinger

A musical photo album of the land the Dutch called the "beautiful island". Asian-infused melodies colored with a rich palette of romantic orchestral harmonic textures.
Genre: Classical: Orchestral
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Shilin Night Market
3:41 $0.99
2. Summer Snow of Tong Hua Blossoms
2:37 $0.99
3. The Many Turns of the Tamshui River
4:49 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"It's very rare when a composer comes along that is sensitive to audience, soloist and musicians alike. Mark Sensinger is that rare entity...a composer/arranger who is so in control of his craft that he can create wonderful melodies and rhythmic content which completely leaves all involved with a unique sense of experiencing music that will inspire and endure. Suite in D for Harp and Orchestra-The Taiwan Sketches is just such a piece. A wonderful work which should be performed everywhere....a great example of Mark's genius and colorful musical palate. I'm still singing the melodies days after the initial performance".

-Clayton J. Poole, Conductor and Musical Director - Northeast Symphony Orchestra.

Suite in D for Harp and Orchestra - The Taiwan Sketches was commissioned by the Northeast Symphony Orchestra as a feature for harpist Katy Lyon-Pingree and had its premier performance on July 23, 2009 in North Conway, New Hampshire.

The Suite is divided into three movements:

Shilin Night Market

The first movement celebrates a unique facet of Taiwanese nightlife - the night market. Literally translated as "night cities", these open-air markets can transform an area comprising several city blocks into a street carnival with dozens of unregistered vendors hawking trinkets, food items, and clothing. While many towns have their own day/night markets, the immense market in Shilin district has become an international attraction.

With a tempo marking of Allegro Con Brio, , the first movement introduces a number of themes built on a D pentatonic scale before settling into the main theme passed back and forth between the harp and orchestra. The alternating solo and tutti sections suggest the market-goer taking in the atmosphere- now ducking into a quiet storefront, now being swept along with the boisterous crowd.

Summer Snow of Tong Hua Blossoms

The second movement begins with a rubato harp solo built on the second mode of the Kumoi pentatonic scale (briefly hinted at during one of the harp sections of the previous movement) before settling into an Adagio Cantibile tempo. The structure is simplicity itself: the main theme (built again on a D pentatonic scale) introduced by the harp, then stated again by the strings.

Tong Hua are small white flowers that begin to bloom in the spring, the fall off as summer wears on. In some regions, massive Tong blooms produce blizzards of loose flowers. These regions attract visitors from other parts of the country, who make the trip to witness the "summer snows" in much the same way that New Yorkers will travel to New England to witness the fall foliage.

The Many Turns of the Tamshui River

The final movement, marked "Andante Misterioso", opens in the "mysterious" key of B minor. In a theme and variations format, the theme is first presented with the harp, then passed about through various sections of the orchestra in different tempi, ranges, and - in one variation - in retrograde. The movement climaxes with a subordinate theme played at full fortissimo volume by the entire orchestra.

The Tamshui river runs through the historic Danshui district, and by following it, one encounters a slew of fascinating sights: breathtaking views of Mount Guanyin, Fort San Domingo (originally built by the Spanish), and Fisherman's Wharf with its iconic Lovers' Bridge.



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Jenny Cheung

Reminds me of the Shen Yun performing arts in the Opera House I saw this year in
very beautiful melody and timeless.