Broken China (1922)
Last updated: 19.03.18
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Composer: G.L. Cobb Suppliers: dbe15.gif
Editor: Geoff Grainger Sextet T/T/T/B+T/B/GB(B)
Publisher: Ditty Box Enterprises Publication: DBE 1109
Audio midi15.gifmp315.gif    
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Length: approx. 4 mins.
Broken China is one of a number of Chinese theme Cobb compositions which include Almond Eyes (1921), Peek In (1920) and Sing Ling Ting (1914). It is yet another is yet another Cobb all tenor/bass affair which will particularly endear itself to those recorder ensembles that love these instruments and that are armed with a full battery of basses. The composition is in a quasi sonata form of AABBACCA with a 4-bar introduction and a 6-bar coda whereby the A-, B- and C-strains are written in the major keys of F, D, and Bb respectively.
This too is another "geographical" piece to go along with the likes of Almond Eyes (1921) or Asia Minor (1921). In writing this novelty full of Chinese clichés, one wonders whether the composer was making a political statement or just celebrating some broken crockery. Whatever, no clues are to be found regarding his actual inspiration. For his part, the editor interprets the composition as a lament on the sad loss of a much-loved, perhaps a priceless piece of pretty porcelain. The coda is preceded by general pause (bar 100) scored Silent which is very effective and perhaps a mark of respect for the lamentable loss. A opportune moment for the performers to arise, if not already standing, to dramatically play-out the final 6 bars!
Broken China was published in Melody by Walter Jacobs, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
A tempo of 80 crotchets/min. is suggested.

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youtube15.jpgBroken China (3:00)