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Chinese Music Classics of 20th Century – III/VI: Choir & Opera

Nov 17, 2009

(Continues from Chinese Music Classics of 20th Century – II/VI: Songs)

Xian Xinghai, conducting Yellow River Cantata

Xian Xinghai, condcuting Yellow River Cantata at Yan'An

But the organizers made a fatal mistake to use the “classic” word. “Classic” has the meaning of artistic value. “Classics” are naturally formed. It is obvious that to generate “classics” by ballot would be impractical. Who votes? What criteria? In what way? there are endless questions. If we only selected “the most representative works of each era”, perhaps we can have a more objective identification criteria.

The jury in fact was clear about this issue, but the Foundation was very insistent on the “classic”  word because that it is “loud and clear”. “If replaced by ‘representative’, I am afraid the reputation of this ballot would be impaired even before publishing”, presiding judge Wu Zuqiang explained, ” ‘classic’ shows public support for Chinese music with good intentions; the assessment is also in a half-hearted case —  in the name of ‘classic’ doing the real selection of ‘representative’ ” . For example,  “Plum Blossom” ( by Liu Chia-chang), does represent its era, but calling it a “classic” is far from the truth!

It was clearly foreseeable that the word “classic” would bring adverse effect. For the music industry, it increases the difficulty to agree on the list; for the public, it is apparently misleading; for future generations,  there will be a false impression to “follow the law”, etc. Unfortunately, the Chinese people’s bad habits – “Idol deification”  defeated reason.  When the list was not yet awarded, oppositional voices were everywhere from north to south. Musicians either fought hard in order to get in, or turn up their noses. For a word, good intentions become malicious causes. China has numerous examples!

(… to be continued …)


作品 Year Lyrics Music English Title w. video link
《春游》 1913 李叔同 李叔同 Spring Outing
《海韵》 1927 徐志摩 赵元任 Ocean Rhyme
《抗敌歌》 1931 黄自、韦翰章 黄自 Song Against the Enemy
《长恨歌》清唱剧 1932 韦翰章 黄自 Song of Eternal Lament 1 _2
《秋夕》 1930s 张秀亚 黄友棣 Mid Autumn Day
《在太行山上》 1938 桂涛声 冼星海 Over the Taihang Mountains
《歌八百壮士》 1938 桂涛声 夏之秋 800 Heroes Song
《黄河大合唱》 1939 光未然 冼星海 Yellow River Cantata _1 _2
《中国人》 1940 侯尹佩 吴伯超 Chinese People
《半个月亮爬上来》无伴奏合唱 1949 王洛宾词曲 蔡余文改编 Half A Moon Climbs Up
《人生如蜜》 1950s 李抱忱 李抱忱 Honey Life
《阳关三叠》 1965 古曲 王震亚改编 Yangguan Sandie
《牧歌》无伴奏合唱 1957 东蒙民歌 瞿希贤改编 A Pastoral Song
《葬花吟》 1960s 曹雪芹(清) 许常惠 Flower Burying Song
《长征组歌》 1965 萧华 晨耕等 Long March Song Cycle
《雨後彩虹》 1980s 芦芒 陆在易 Rainbow After the Rain
《云南风情组歌》 1985 张东辉 田丰 Yunnan Scenery Suite
《八骏赞》 那顺 恩克巴雅尔 Hymn of Eight Horses


shanghai ballet 上海 芭蕾 상하이 발레 バレエ

White Hair Girl Ballet | by {link:http://www.flickr.com/photos/40845114@N04/4005079055/}xieqiang.li{/link}

作品 Year Lyrics Music English Title w. video link
《小小画家》 1927 黎锦晖 黎锦晖 Little Painter
《白毛女》 1945 贺敬之、丁毅 向隅、陈紫、刘炽 White Hair Girl
《洪潮赤卫队》 1959 朱本和 张敬安、欧阳叔谦 Honghu Red Army
《伤逝》 1981 韩伟、施光南 施光南 Regret for the Past
《原野》 1988 万方 金湘 The Wilderness _1 _2

Please stay tuned and other parts will be posted soon!

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