“I should kneel down to listen to it!” — Ozawa Seiji, Japanese Conductor
One of the best known Chinese music inside and outside China
In 1985, an album of 11 Chinese music was introduced in USA, this one is the first.
When you talk about Chinese music, firstly you talk about Erhu (so called Chinese Violin); when you talk about Erhu, firstly you talk about this one – Moon reflected on Second Spring.
Unlike its romantic name, this piece of music is full of heart-breaking sorrowness. The musician, Hua Yanjun (or Blind Ah-Bing), like all the other great artists along human history, had a very complicated life and suffered from WWII, poverty, disease and repression from corrupted authorities in the old China (before 1949). As an itinerant street performer, he was known to be able to play more than 600 Erhu and Pipa pieces, among which some were his compositions.
When the New China established in 1949, academic visitors from Shanghai found him in order to preserve Chinese folk music, and successfully recorded 6 pieces performed by him. Although he happily agreed to record more later, he died a few month after the first record, taking along his talented music (only 6 out of 600+ were recorded.) It’s a great loss of Chinese music treasure. As one of the six, “Moon reflected on Second Spring” soon became popular in China, and was introduced internationally and gained popularity all over the world. People are touched by the sadness beauty of music, the legendary life of Ah-Bing, his spirit of integrity, honesty, and his talent.
When people finished recording this music, they asked Ah-Bing for a name. Ah-Bing said he did not have one. Then, people asked him where he used to play it, he said that sometimes at getto, sometimes by the Hui Spring (惠泉, crowned as “the second spring in the world” by Lu Yu – the Father of Tea). One proposed to name it “second spring”, another thought “second spring” was too simple to name a music. Since there is a famous scenic place in the West Lake of Hangzhou called “Three pools reflecting the moon”, similarly, people decided to name this music as “Moon Reflected on Second Spring”. And Ah-Bing liked this name.
When it comes to English translation, some people who don’t know the background tend to translate as “Moon reflected on Double Springs”, which is definitely wrong. On the other hand, some people argue that “Second Spring” in English is too intriguing and it should use its original name and translated as “Hui Spring” – Moon Reflected on Hui Spring.
1. Ah-Bing wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abing