This week’s music offering comes to you with an amusing story.
Browsing through my file, I came across this beautiful Chinese piece that Julie Ribchinsky and I played for you at St John’s two years ago. Thinking that its classical sound, almost a folk tune, and beautiful cello part would make a lovely recording, I emailed Julie, and we began work on it.
The piece has a Chinese title and is arranged by Jacqueline duPré, whom Julie studied in England many years ago. Jacqueline (1945-1987), described by some as one of the greatest cellists of all time, had her career cut short at 28 years of age by multiple sclerosis. She was married to Daniel Barenboim, pianist, and conductor.
As all of the writing on this piece is in Chinese, I asked a friend to translate for me. It turns out the piece is from a movie entitled A Chinese Ghost Story; what a surprise that was! Not the classic piece I had imagined. Checking online, the movie is about a tax collector who must go to the realms of the supernatural to rescue his beloved’s soul. The translation of the title symbol has something to do with sleep, so probably “Reverie,” in English.
Julie Ribchinsky, professor emeritus from CCSU, lives in Ivoryton and teaches at Wesleyan and in our area. Her husband Gary, a percussionist, has kindly recorded this and was our sound engineer this week. We thank them both for sharing their time and many talents with St. John’s. They have both been very supportive of music at St John’s for many years.