Chinese Music Classics of 20th Century – IV/VI: Instrumental Solo
(Continues from Chinese Music Classics of 20th Century – III/VI: Choir & Opera)
“Chinese Culture Promotion Association”, a non-governmental organization, had been set up for merely three years before this selection by a group of government and business people from southeastern provinces.
Despite its non-governmental organization title, the Council is no lack of party and government officials. For example, the President Ye Xuanping is the former governor of Guangdong Province, and the incumbent vice chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, the Secretary-General Xiao Yang is current governor of Sichuan Province.
Thanks to “reform and opening up”, the southeastern provinces of China have become the richest regions. The level of interest in arts activities has also risen accordingly. The Association aims to promote artistic and cultural activities. It plays an important role in an era when cultural activities in mainland China were switching from leading by the government to the hand of civil society .
In 1992, musicians from the mainland such as Wang Liping (the author of theme song for “Dream of the Red Chamber”, the TV series) and others formed the preparatory committee. They compiled a list of more than 400 works, which contains works by famous 20th century Chinese composers (no more than three each).
Then they asked music industry leader Wu Zuqiang to organize a selection committee panel. These musicians were invited: the mainland’s Wang Liping, Wang Yuhe Yuan Jingfang, Zheng Xiaoying, Yan Liang-Kun, Sang Tong, Zhu Jian-er, Chen Ling Qun; Taiwan’s Hsu Chang-hui, Ma Shui-long, Wu Ji-Zha; Hong Kong’s Chan Wing-wah, Fei Ming-yi; overseas: Chou Wen-chung, Leung Mingyue .. and others. (Taiwan, Hsu, Ma, were not present to vote, they asked Wu to represent them.)
That November, the selection panel met in Chongqing in order to review the work and run the selection ballot. Originally a round “100” selections was planned, but because of discrete electoral votes, plus other considerations, the panel finally made an announcement on November 16 that a total of 124 tracks in 9 sections will be selected.
It’s another problem to decide the selection committees. No veteran musicians (eg, He Luting) was on the list, on which are mostly current generations such as Wu Zuqiang or younger. Low ages might have been criticized as low authority, but the previous generation should naturally be assessed by later generations, who have a wider field of vision and are more able to accommodate different genres of music.
After all, for most works on the list, however, their authors are still in good health. The list will inevitably become a divided pie, as we can see the final list is allocated by age, region, political factors, etc..
Hong Kong music critic Zhou Fanfu said that it is already unreasonable for the composers to assess their own works. It is really absurd to have unrepresentative instrument performers to have the power of selecting the classic. For example, the qualifications of vocalist Fei Mingyi, pianist Wu Ji-Zha are suspicious. How many of these works had they ever heard?
(… to be continued …)
In previous sections, we have covered Songs, Choir and Operas. You probably had difficulty in enjoying them since they are all vocal music in Chinese language. Since today, the other sections are going to be mainly instrumental music. Hopefully it will be easier for you to enjoy them.
|作品||Year||Composer||Instrument||English Title w. video link|
|《病中吟》||1918||刘天华||Erhu||Groaning From the Patient|
|《空山鸟语》||1928||刘天华||Erhu||Warbling On A Desolate Mountain|
|《二泉映月》||1940s||华彦钧||Erhu||Moon Reflected on Second Spring|
|《枫桥夜泊》||1998||王建民||Piano||At Night on the Lake Beneath the Maple Bridge|
|《豫北叙事曲》||1958||刘文金||Erhu & Piano||North Henan Ballad|
|《渔舟唱晚》||1930s||娄树华改编||Guzheng||Night Song on Fishing Boats|
|《大浪淘沙》||1940s||华彦钧||Pipa||Great Waves Sweeping Away Sands|
|《霸王卸甲》||刘德海||Pipa||The Conqueror Unarms|
|《彝族舞曲》||1960||王惠然||Pipa||Dance Song Of The Yi Nationality|
|《阳明春晓》||1960||董榕森||Flute||Spring Dawn of Yangming Mountain|
|《秋湖月夜》||1981||于逊发、彭正元||Flute||Moonlit Night on an Autumn Lake|
|《牧童短笛》||1934||贺绿汀||Piano||Buffalo Boy’s Flute|
|《百鸟朝凤》||1980s||王建中||Piano||Birds Adoring the Phoenix, 2|
|《他山集》||1981||江立三||Piano||Collection from Beyond|
|《长短的组合》||1983||权吉浩||Piano||Combination of Long and Short|
|《内蒙组曲》||1937||马思聪||Violin||Inner Mongolia Suite|
|《侗乡鼓楼》||1995||邹向平||Piano||Dong Drum Tower Improvisation|
|《第一二胡狂想曲》||1988||王建民||Erhu||No. 1 Erhu Rhapsody, 2|
|《远草赋》||陈铭志||Sheng||Tribute to Grass Far Away|
Please stay tuned and other parts will be posted soon!