Li Po's Music

Hyo-shin Na

Li Po's Music
for String Orchestra, Oboe, and Piano  Solo (2005)


A few years ago, while studying Chinese, I came across a poem  by the 8th Century Chinese poet Li Po.

Hearing Qin Music in the Moonlight
Li Po

I sit alone in the moonlight
Nothing worries  me
But I hear something distant, delicate
The sound of the qin.

Or maybe it's the cold wind in the pine forest
Or the fluttering of fingers
Over a serene heart.

That great qin player died long ago
No one in this world will know this music...


I subsequently began to  write Li Po's Music, at first for Piano and a small String Orchestra (I  was writing for Barbara Day Turner's San Jose Chamber Orchestra and Thomas Schultz), later adding oboe, as a melody instrument contrasting timbrally with the string orchestra. Like sitting alone in the moonlight, the music is quiet and a bit melancholy.