Longing for Times Past for flute, clarinet, cello, piano
Composed by Cuong
score and parts
The sound of the Dan bau, or single-string zither, is uniquely Vietnamese. This monochord instrument can be traced back to 7th century northern Vietnam. The musician holds a bamboo pick in the right hand and plucks the steel string to obtain harmonics while the left hand moves a flexible handle carved out of buffalo horn to create the melody. Historically the Dan bau has been played alone or to accompany recitations of poetry. In recent years, however, as in this work, composers have achieved striking effects by combining the Dan bau with contemporary Western instruments. The composer has written the substitute clarinet part so that Western ensembles may perform this piece in the event that there is no Dan bau player available.