Fung Lam

© Copyright Fung Lam 2016

Endless Forms (2012)

for symphony orchestra

Orchestration: 2+pic.2+ca.2(II=Eb cl)+bcl.2+cbn/4331/3perc/

Duration: 13.5 minutes


Commissioned by the BBC Radio 3, Endless Forms was premiered at the BBC Proms by the

BBC Symphony Orchestra under the baton of their Chief Conductor Designate Sakari Oramo.

7:00pm, Wednesday 18 July 2012

Royal Albert Hall, London, UK



Evening Standard on Endless Forms

“If music could be factory-produced, we would no doubt be flooded with new compositions from China. We aren’t, but in coming years we will hear more, and judging by last night’s premiere of his Endless Forms, we will also be hearing more of Fung Lam.

Born in Hong Kong in 1979, Lam was trained here, but Endless Forms makes no effort to blend East and West. Its opening, unfolding at medium tempo and volume and with brief interplay between harp and flute, recalls Debussy. Later, the slow harmonies and tolling chimes bring Arvo Pärt to mind. Yet Lam, working with a carefully constructed minimum of material, shapes his musical world with dreamy individuality.”

The Independent on Endless Forms

“... this nine-minute piece ... showed that this 33-year-old Hong Kong-born composer has a distinctive voice. Needing no special pleading, it trod an assured path through a conventionally tonal landscape, with bright woodwind phrases penetrating gentle washes of colour, and string textures of seductive warmth and transparency. For much of its length it felt more like the suggestion of lyricism than the thing itself, but its climax had a Mahlerian lusciousness ...”

Classical Source on Endless Forms

“The 14-minute work opens with zigzagging chromatic ascents and descents – its musical DNA – tracing a journey from darkness to light. The material unfurls gently, fragile and somewhat sombre in character. The secondary theme is most attractive, anxious strings leading to a beautiful melody over oscillating woodwind before the piece concluded with chiming bells resonating through the Royal Albert Hall’s spacious acoustic.”

The Telegraph on Endless Forms

“Along the way I caught references to Debussy, the brassy stridency of Messiaen’s apocalyptic mode, the angular austerity of Anton Webern, even a Mahlerian Adagio. They fitted across the music’s wanly beautiful surface like ghosts.”