Spe­cial con­cert to pay rich trib­utes to Red Army

China Daily (USA) - - LIFE - By CHEN­NAN

As this year marks the 80th an­niver­sary of the end of the Long March, a spe­cial con­cert will be staged to pay homage to the Red Army.

With head­lin­ers, in­clud­ing Chi­nese tenor Yan Wei­wen, so­prano Song Zuy­ing and bari­tone Liao Changy­ong, the con­cert, pro­duced by the Na­tional Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts, will see a joint per­for­mance by the NCPA Orches­tra and the NCPA Cho­rus un­der the ba­ton of lead­ing Chi­nese con­duc­tor Li Xin­cao, who is the res­i­dent con­duc­tor of the China Na­tional Sym­phony Orches­tra.

In the early 1930s, the Kuom­intang, the then-rul­ing party of China, launched a series of at­tacks against the Com­mu­nist Party’s Red Army in cen­tral and east­ern China.

After los­ing in the fifth round of at­tacks in Oc­to­ber 1934 to save its troops, the Red Army be­gan a two-year “strate­gic re­treat”, now known as the LongMarch.

Ac­cord­ing to Yin Qing, the renowned Chi­nese com­poser and artis­tic di­rec­tor of the con­cert, the first half of the con­cert will see works in­spired by the po­ems of Chair­man Mao Ze­dong, which he wrote dur­ing the LongMarch.

For ex­am­ple, Loushan Pass, a fa­mous poem writ­ten in 1935 by Mao, is about Loushan Pass, a place in Guizhou prov­ince, where a fierce bat­tle took place.

The Long March, a poem which Mao wrote in 1935 when the his­tor­i­cal march was al­most end­ing, talks of some of the ar­eas the Red Army trav­eled.

“These mu­sic pieces adapted from Chair­man Mao’s po­ems de­pict the hard­ships of the epic march and the heroic spirit of Red Army,” says Yin, adding that the au­di­ences will be taken back to the his­toric events dur­ing the Long March, in­clud­ing the bat­tle at Xiangjiang River, which saw around 50,000 Red Army sol­diers die, and the bat­tle at Lud­ing Bridge, which sawa small RedArmy force brave gun­fire to cross the bridge and at­tack en­emy po­si­tions on the other side — suc­cess­fully se­cur­ing a bridge­head for the army to cross.

Two mu­sic pieces se­lected from the orig­i­nal opera pro­duced by the NCPA, ti­tled The LongMarch, will also be per­formed at the con­cert.

Writ­ten by famed scriptwriter Zou Jingzhi and com­posed by Yin, the opera, which was di­rected by Tian Qinxin, one of China’s most ac­com­plished and pi­o­neer­ing drama di­rec­tors, pre­miered in Bei­jing on July 1 this year.

In its first five-day run then, the opera at­tracted over 150,000 peo­ple.

Mean­while, the sec­ond half of the con­cert will com­prise 10 clas­sic works from Suite of Songs for the Long March, which were writ­ten by Xiao Hua (1916-85) in 1965 to com­mem­o­rate the 30th an­niver­sary of the end of the LongMarch.

Speak­ing about the works which will be fea­tured in the sec­ond half of the show, vet­eran tenor Yan Wei­wen says: “We grew up by lis­ten­ing to these po­ems and songs. I can still re­call vividly when I first heard the tenor Jia Shi­jun (1930-2011) per­form the Suite of Songs for the Long March. He was my idol.”

NCPA vice-pres­i­dent Zhu Jing says the series of events com­mem­o­rat­ing the 80th an­niver­sary of the end of the LongMarch are the re­sult of four years of plan­ning.

Be­sides the orig­i­nal opera and the con­cert, the NCPA will also present per­for­mances jointly with the Na­tional Academy of Chi­nese The­ater Arts and an ex­hi­bi­tion on the LongMarch.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Tenor Yan Wei­wen will per­form at the up­com­ing con­cert com­mem­o­rat­ing the Long March.

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