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The nature of Chinese Zhangjiajie is glorified in the symphony.

On April 26, 2024, the Zhangjiajie Philharmonic Orchestra held a concert program featuring a symphonic poem by composer and conductor Taras Kutsenko (Terry Heimat).

The Power of Nature Zhangjiajie. op. 5

This work captures the feeling of a person visiting the scenic mountainous areas of Zhangjiajie.
The symphonic poem was composed in November 2019. The first performance took place on December 15, 2019 at the Philharmonic Concert Hall of Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province.


Taras Kutsenko composer, conductor, arranger
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"A person's life journey can be compared to climbing a mountain. On the way there are obstacles that fuel a person's interest to reach the final goal. The goal is chosen by the person himself and his choice determines new and new landscapes of nature, which can appear before the eyes of the traveler. You can experience these sensations in Zhangjiajie, when climbing Tianmen Mountain. When a giant cable car "a marvel of engineering", daily transporting tens of thousands of tourists to the top of the world, carries you above the ground and rises to the top. The beauty of natural landscapes: clean, mountain air favorable for human health, thousands of representatives of unique flora, natural lakes and waterfalls, the triumph of unity between man and nature - everything I saw and felt, I conveyed in music. Thanks to the management of the Zhangjiajie Philharmonic Orchestra, represented by Jane Debin, Director of Zhangjiajie College, and Prof. Lur Yong, Director of the Orchestra, for the opportunity to play music." - said in an interview with the newspaper Zhangjiajiajie Today maestro Kutsenko.
The symphony orchestra musicians performed this piece very sensitively, transferring their emotion into the music.
"The audience got the maximum effect and great interest from listening to music about China's nature composed by a foreign composer and performed by foreign musicians. It is a striking unity of people - a symphony in harmony with nature." - said an audience member after the concert.
The composer has already addressed the theme of contemplating the scenic spots of Zhangjiajie.
But this is discussed below. At the concert on April 26, a symphonic version of his impressions of the scenic spots of Zhangjiajie was performed.

Live from the concert on April 26, 2024.

Zhangjiajie Philharmonic Orchestra.
Conducted by Prof. Taras Kutsenko
First violin - Valery Moiseenko
Soloists in the orchestra:
Cello - Oksana Tolmachova
Flute - Bobur Sobirov
Oboe - Abbas Akborov
Clarinet - Timur Aldungarov
Bassoon - Vasyl Lotut
Horn - Vladimir Glazkov
Trumpet - Yuri Kokidko

Orchestra President Jiang Derbin
Artistic director of the orchestra Luo Yong
Music director and chief conductor - Taras Kutsenko

Sheet music>>>

Orchestra President Jiang Derbin
Artistic director of the orchestra Luo Yong
Music director and chief conductor - Taras Kutsenko
The orchestra began its existence in 2018 as a composition of musicians invited by China to organize the first philharmonic orchestra in Chinese cities with second-tier status. Previously, professional symphony orchestras were subsidized from the state budget only in provincial capitals. In 2019, through the efforts of the Rector of Zhangjiajie University, Mr. Jiang Durbin and Professor of Zhangjiajie College Mr. Luo Yong, with the participation of conductor Taras Kutsenko, the Zhangjiajie Philharmonic Orchestra was created with the financial support of the city municipality.
The composer has already addressed the theme of contemplating the scenic spots of Zhangjiajie and expressed his impressions in the author's albums "Patterns on the stones" 2019 & "The Gate of all wonders" 2021, which is popular in China and presents the sound of mountains to tourists from all over the world.

Zhangjiajie Heavenly Gate

Zhangjiajie is the oldest of China's national parks and perhaps the most notable. Opened in 1982, it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List ten years later. The park is home to more than 500 species of animals, including civets, monkeys, birds and salamanders. Rare plants such as gingko, pigeon tree, and mahogany grow here. In addition, in this area of Hunan Province there are Tianzishan Geopark, known for its mountains of amazing beauty and Sosiyu Park, notable primarily for the huge Huanglong Cave, the largest hall of which can accommodate ten thousand people. As Zhangjiajie is a popular tourist area, there are excellent hotels and restaurants with great food. As a souvenir, guests can buy handicrafts from the Miao, Tujia and Bo peoples, who have inhabited the area for thousands of years and have developed distinctive crafts, the secrets of which have been passed down from generation to generation.
The city of Zhangjiajie is located in the northwestern part of China's Hunan Province. Its population is approximately one and a half million people. Near the city there is Wulingyuan district, on the territory of which Zhangjiajie National Park with unusually diverse flora and fauna is open. The city has its own airport, which receives flights from all major cities in China. In addition to the ethnic Chinese (Han Chinese), the Zhangjiajie area is also inhabited by the Miao, Tujia and Bo peoples, who have their own original culture.
Zhangjiajie has a humid tropical climate, with clear sunny days followed by heavy rains throughout the year. The year is divided into four seasons with short, cool winters and long, warm summers. There are neither frosts nor excessive heat. In summer the average temperature is +27?, and in January, the coldest month, it fluctuates around +4.3?
You can fly to Zhangjiajie Airport (located 10 km from the city and 33 km from the national park) from any major city in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou or Chongqing. There are regular shuttle buses from the airport to the national park. The drive from the airport to the park takes about an hour. The best way to get there by train is from Changsha, which takes about five hours.
Zhangjiajie can be visited at almost any time of the year. Although it can be a bit chilly in winter, the snowfall turns the park into a magical land. Spring fills the local nature with the fragrance of flowers, while autumn brings a splendor of colors. And the thick mists of fog and the altitude bringing mountain coolness create a pleasant atmosphere for a summer visit.
Zhangjiajie is primarily interesting for its scenic Wulingyuan area, which is divided into four main zones:

  • Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
  • Sosiyu Geopark
  • Tianzishan Geopark
  • Yangjiajie Geopark

Since the late 80s, Wulingyuan has been one of China's major national scenic spots. In total, there are about seven hundred and seventy species of various plants, including a number of quite rare and occurring in the wild exclusively here. The fauna of Wulingyuan is no less extensive, with twenty-eight species of local inhabitants considered rare and protected by law. These include giant salamanders, smoky and common leopards and a range of more common large carnivores.

Located in Wulingyuan, Zhangjiajie National Park is the oldest national scenic park in China. It was established in 1982 and covers an area of 13,000 square kilometers. The landscape of Zhangjiajiajie is quite diverse - dense forests are suddenly replaced by high mountains. The climate is warm and humid. The park is home to more than 500 different species of animals. Such rare plants as gingko, pigeon tree and mahogany grow here. And even civets (cat family), monkeys, birds and salamanders live in the park. In 1992, the park was included in the list of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mount Tianmenshan is the first mountain in Zhangjiajie, the height of which was measured by specialists (1518.6 m). The mountain is located 8 km from the center of Zhangjiajie and is one of the main attractions of the national park. The mountain is famous for its unusual Heavenly Gate Cave - the highest cave in the world, formed naturally during erosion processes. It is even called the “magic cave of Western Hunan.”

The cave was formed in 263, when suddenly a large piece of the mountain simply fell away, creating a huge cavity 131.5 m high, 57 m wide at its widest point and 60 m long. Shrouded in clouds, the "Heaven's Gate" is indeed very impressive: it seems that once you go through them, you will truly be in heaven. There is a belief among local residents that this mountain is connected with the sky and has supernatural powers. So, in the 20th century, four times a waterfall 1500 m high unexpectedly and for an inexplicable reason collapsed from the top of the mountain. Streams of water fell for 15 minutes, and then also suddenly disappeared. This phenomenon was observed in 1949 (the formation of the People's Republic of China), 1976 (the death of Mao Zedong), 1989 (the suppression of student protests in Beijing) and 1998 (the largest flood), and the superstitious Chinese consider these coincidences to be no coincidence.

For a long time, there have also been rumors that countless treasures were hidden in the mountain, brought here by one of the leaders of the peasant uprising during the Ming Dynasty. For centuries, treasure hunters have come here in search of riches, but all their attempts to find the treasure have remained in vain. The longest and highest cable car in the world (7455 m) leads to the top of the mountain, the spans of which reach 500 m! In some places the road rises sharply at an angle of 70º, suddenly crashing straight into the clouds.

Unforgettable experience! The main spare parts for the construction of the cable car were imported from the French company ROMA. At the top of the mountain, a staircase with 999 steps leads to the cave. The number “9” in this case is not accidental: in the Taoist tradition, this number is a symbol of the emperor and the highest number available to man. The meaning of this number once again emphasizes the mystery of this place, located on the border of the human and divine worlds. You can go down the mountain by bus along the Tongtian road with 99 turns. The name of the road is not an exaggeration: it is one of the most impressive serpentines in the world, the “heavenly highway”. The length of the route is less than 11 km, and the distance between turns is from 200 to 1300 m. At the top of the mountain, right on the edge of the abyss, there are paths among quaint relict trees, in some places there is a glass floor, so you can see the clouds under your feet.
  • Heaven's Gate Buddhist Temple, one of the main pilgrimage sites in Hunan Province since the Ming Dynasty. The elegant temple occupies an area of ​​about 10 thousand square meters. m.
Cave of the Yellow Dragon. It is said that the inside of the Yellow Dragon Cave is even more beautiful than the outside in Zhangjiajie Nature Reserve. Day and night all year round it is always cool and fresh there, not hot in summer and not cold in winter. This cave is one of the main attractions of the reserve and one of the most beautiful “magical karst caves” in the world. Yellow Dragon Cave is a typical karst cave in which water plays an important role in its formation.
Drops of water seep through cracks into the karst layers and constantly dissolve the limestone, thereby widening the crack. This process continues year after year until the gap reaches enormous dimensions. This is exactly how the Yellow Dragon Cave came about, reaching a height of 140 m. At the highest point of the cave, the distance to the top of the mountain is only 17 m. Inside the cave there are the following “natural wonders”: two underground rivers, three pools, four waterfalls, 13 large “halls” ", 96 galleries and hundreds of thousands of stalagmites, columns, stalactites and other formations. The “interiors” of the Yellow Dragon Cave are so complex and incomprehensible that even geologists call this place “magical.” The Yellow Dragon Cave has several picturesque natural compositions, including the Dragon Palace, the Ballroom with draped stone curtains, the Immortal Waterfall, etc. In the Dragon Palace, you can see the Dragon King, which can be accessed through the “Longevity” or “Happiness” gate. According to the old tradition, the visitor can choose only one of them.

According to local beliefs, those who pass through the Gate of Happiness will find prosperity in marriage, and those who choose Longevity will live happily ever after. The complete journey through the cave will take about two hours. During this time, you will have to walk 2400 m and swim 800 m along the river. This is one of the longest caves in Asia and is widely known outside of China. Yellow Dragon Cave is located 15 minutes from Suoxiu Town, an hour's drive from Zhangjiajie City and 20 minutes from Zhangjiajie Nature Reserve.
Yangjiajie Park is adjacent to Zhangjiajie National Park to the east and Tianzi Mountain to the north. The park was inaugurated in 1992. The territory of Yangjiajie covers an area of ​​34 square meters. m and is divided into three parts: Xiangzhi Stream, Longquan Valley and Baihou Valley - which have a total of more than 200 landscape areas.

  • Longquan Valley, characterized by steep cliffs rising out of the ground at almost right angles. The rocks fit together so tightly that from a distance they look like the protective wall of an ancient city.
  • The Baihuo Valley (translated from Chinese as “one hundred monkeys”) is indeed often visited by macaques. This is also a favorite place for egrets, which flock to this area.
  • Longquan Valley is famous for the beautiful Dragon Spring Waterfall. A waterfall falls from a cliff densely covered with ivy and exotic five-color flowers.
  • In the Xiangzhi region, high sharp peaks are wrapped in a thread of transparent streams, ancient paths are laid along the ravines, along which you can hear cicadas and birdsong.
  • The history of Yangjiajie is closely related to the legends of the Northern Song Dynasty. According to legend, during one of the bloody wars of that time, a general from the Yang clan set up camp at the foot of Mount Tianzi. The war dragged on for several years, and during this time more and more scions of the Yang clan appeared in this area. Since then, the place has been called the “Yang Land,” which in Chinese sounds like “Yangjiajie.” The graves of members of the Yang family, including their descendants, who were buried here in the Ming and Qing eras, are still preserved here.
In Zhangjiajie you can buy magnificent souvenirs - products of local craftsmen who lived here for many thousands of years and continued to develop crafts, the secrets of which were passed down from generation to generation. Minority arts and crafts include beautiful black-patterned crocheted baskets and intricately embroidered insoles. Knitted and embroidered products are the pride of the local region, and wicker baskets and bamboo cradles are also a separate local feature
Come visit us in Zhangjiajie and feel the beauty and spirituality of this scenic spot.
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