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Sound Recording (Musical)
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An extended choral work for two choruses and piano, Like a Rapid Stream is an uplifting work with aspiring lyrics. Written in two contrasting parts, the A section is in the present while the slower B section contains aspirations for the future. Though not always tonally anchored, Leong’s harmonic language is consistent with western practice in the use of secondary dominants, diminished and augmented harmonies, and so forth. The accompaniment part is straightforward, serving mainly as harmonic filler in support of the vocal parts. But it may also be employed to convey fluidity or rapidity of the stream as seen in the rhythmic subdivisions in the treble part. On one occasion, it is set up antiphonally against the vertical sound of the choruses, as in the più mosso section on page 21. The horizontal strands in Like a Rapid Stream are more important for Leong as he gives precedence to the melody. Additionally, the challenging soprano part in both choruses, with its disjunct melody and accidentals, is often separated from the textural strands of the other voices. This results in tonal (major/minor) or intervallic conflict between the voices and the sopranos, or even between the choruses themselves, as in the Broadly section from page 32 on. This is also evident within the accompaniment itself, as seen in the two bars preceding this section. Nonetheless, the inherent musical tension of major/minor seconds and the short articulatory slurs may be read as expressions of desire and longing. Furthermore, Leong’s spatial scoring allows for the possibility of aural effects from the varied pairing of the voices, within and between each choir, particularly in the B section.
This digital copy (c) National Library Board Singapore 2007. The original work (c) Leong Yoon Pin 1981.