Mu­sic la­bel marks the 20th an­niver­sary of Hong Kong’s re­turn to China with 7-CD al­bum


To mark the 20th an­niver­sary of the re­turn of Hong Kong to China, China Record Cor­po­ra­tion, the old­est and largest record com­pany in China, which was founded in May 1949, has re­leased a 7-CD al­bum, ti­tled A More Glo­ri­ous To­mor­row — A Col­lec­tion of Mu­sic Cel­e­brat­ing the 20th An­niver­sary of Hong Kong’s Re­turn to China.

Nearly 100 songs re­leased be­tween 1984 to 1997 which fo­cus on Hong Kong and its con­nec­tion with the Chi­nese main­land, and cov­er­ing pop, folk mu­sic and in­stru­men­tal per­for­mances, are fea­tured in the al­bum.

The cor­po­ra­tion is also hold­ing si­mul­ta­ne­ous ex­hi­bi­tions on the main­land and in Hong Kong, ti­tled The Art-Tune: An Un­com­mon His­tory in the China Record In­dus­try, to show­case the in­flu­ence of mu­sic from the Chi­nese main­land on the de­vel­op­ment of Hong Kong’s mu­sic in­dus­try.

In 1956, the China Record Cor­po­ra­tion set up a branch in Hong Kong, to cater to over­seas Chi­nese liv­ing across South­east Asia. Called Art-Tune, the branch re­leased a num­ber of records, com­pris­ing tra­di­tional Chi­nese folk mu­sic and Chi­nese op­eras.

For ex­am­ple, when the Jing ju The­ater Com­pany of Bei­jing, the former Bei­jing Pek­ing Opera Troupe, vis­ited Hong Kong in April 1963, 49 per­for­mances were staged in 60 days.

Then, a col­lec­tion of the per­for­mances were re­leased in an al­bum.

Mean­while, the first dis­play com­pris­ing his­toric pho­tos, pro­gram lists, news­pa­per clip­pings and record cov­ers is up in Shang­hai, where it runs till Au­gust 20 at the Shang­hai Jiao­tong Univer­sity.

A sim­i­lar ex­hi­bi­tion is now on Bei­jing at the Na­tional Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts.

Sep­a­rately, an­other dis­play will be up at Huang Rong Yuan Tang, a villa on Gu­langyu, an is­land ad­ja­cent to Xi­a­men, where the China Record Mu­seum is lo­cated, from July 12 to Au­gust 31. The last dis­play will be from Au­gust 30 to Novem­ber 30 at the Hong Kong Cen­tral Li­brary.

Fan Guobin, the gen­eral man­ager of the cor­po­ra­tion, says Art-Tune helps links over­seas Chi­nese with the Chi­nese main­land through mu­sic.

Look­ing back, he says the cor­po­ra­tion sent teams over 1957-58 to record folk mu­sic and opera in the Fu­jian and Guang­dong prov­inces, where Can­tonese mu­sic and op­eras were pop­u­lar. 20thAn­niver­sary­ofHongKong’sRe­turn­toChina.

Lots of tra­di­tional Chi­nese mu­sic and Pek­ing Opera pieces were used in mar­tial arts movies. And Art-Tune bridged the mu­sic gap be­tween the Chi­nese main­land and Hong Kong then.” Chang Hok-yan, chief li­brar­ian of the Leisure and Cul­tural Ser­vice Depart­ment of Hong Kong Pub­lic Li­braries

And nine al­bums of Can­tonese mu­sic and opera were re­leased by the cor­po­ra­tion from 1958 to 1963. Art-Tune also re­leased these al­bums in Hong Kong, and they were well re­ceived by mu­sic lovers there, says Fan.

The al­bums ap­pealed not just to

7-CD al­bum,

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