About this Recording
82014 - Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy (Orchestral Highlights)
English 

Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy
(A Modern Revolutionary Peking Opera)

Winter, 1946. At the beginning of the War of Liberation; the Chinese Liberation Army won a great victory in the battlefield of the North East. Following the directive of Chairman Mao "Build secure base areas in the North East", an army leader takes his patroJ of comrades into the deep mountain and forest to rouse the masses, wipe out the bandits, consolidate the rear and cooperate with the field army in neutralising the attacks of the American-backed Kuomintang.

The Vulture bandits, supported by the Kuomintang, kill and rob everywhere, with the intention of creating confusion to the rear of the Liberation Army. The people hate them. Defeated soundly by the Liberation Army, the bandits retire to their lair on Tiger Mountain and hope, with this geographical advantage, to resist.

Tiger Mountain, owing to its peculiar situation, is better taken by strategy than by force. Scout platoon leader Yang Zi-rong has examined the approach routes carefully and with the help of the hunter Chang and his daughter (Chang Bao) finds traces of the bandits; he has in his possession Horse Cudgel Hsu's Contacts Map, something the Vulture bandits are eager to lay hands on. Hundred Chicken Feast is held. At the request of Yang himself and after discussion by members of the Party Committee and the Soldiers' Democracy

Committee, the leader sends Yang, disguised as a bandit, to Tiger Mountain to offer the bandits the map.

Hope and courage burn in Yang Zi-rong's heart as he approaches the bandit's lair. With wisdom and courage inspired by the Revolution, he wins the trust of the cunning, wicked Vulture, who has tested and questioned him, but he is always able to send information out punctually to his own people.

The leader establishes a base for the comrades in Chiapi Valley. Here the people are encouraged to start production again and to establish a people's army. Li Yong-qi, a railway worker, has awaited the people's army night and day. Excited at its arrival, he resolves to join the Communists and wipe out the bandits. The comrades ski and train the People's Army, now well prepared for battle.

Now the comrades are ready. Shen Teh-hua receives information from Yang Zi-rong again. Now the situation changes abruptly. The little train is bombed and the bandit Luan Ping escapes. Immediately the leader decides to take action and advance on Tiger Hall.

After his escape Luang Ping returns to Tiger Mountain, putting Yang Zi-rong in grave danger. Yang, however, is calm and clever in peril and knows well enough the weaknesses of his foes, whom he attacks. Luan Ping is killed and Yang, following the original plan, gathers all the bandits at the Hundred Chicken Feast in Tiger Hall and makes them drunk. The comrades and the People's Army arrive according to plan and by the time they meet Yang all the bandits have been wiped out.

In this recording the vocal parts are performed on solo instruments - the Er-hu, Suona, Jing-hu and Zhu-di.

Synopsis
1. We long for the time when the sun will shine over these mountains (Chang Bao: Er-hu solo)
In front of her relatives and the Liberation Army Chang Bao tearfully accuses the Vulture bandits of the monstrous crimes they have committed. Her only hope is revenge for this eight-year wrong and she wishes for wings, so that she might take her hunting-gun, fly to the summit of the mountain and kill all the wolves.

2. Bring the land a new life (Vang Zi-rong: Suona solo)
After listening to Chang Bao's tearful accusation, Yang Zi-rong is angry and swears to take revenge, seeking justice, an eye for an eye and blood for blood. The people will be set free once the bandits are wiped out. Once again they can be masters and the sun will shine over the lofty mountains.

3. We will wipe out the reactionaries (Leader: Jing-hu solo)
Icy winds howl through the woods, rustling branches and shaking the deep gulleys. Snowflakes dance in a hazy mist and the mountains are mantled in silver. The Leader lifts his eyes to the distance and grows agitated. Facing this magnificent everchanging landscape he is reminded of the Liberation Army, fighting its way over thousands of miles and bearing with it the hopes of the people. The Americans and Chiang can conspire together, resisting and sniping in the dark. They can resort to a hundred tricks, but he and his soldiers shall still wipe them out.

4. Destroying the root of evil (Leader: Zhu-di solo)
The Leader has been considering for days the situation of the enemy and a plan of battle. He remembers the glorious days of Yang Zi-rong's feats and thinks that he is the man to penetrate the enemy's defences to destroy it from inside and outside.

5. The Communist (Yang Zi-rong: Suona solo)
Yang Zi-rong thinks of going to Tiger Mountain to wipe out the bandits and tells the leader of his plan. A Communist must always be ready to obey the Party, and he will willingly carry any heavy burden: his heart is like a red flame that will become a sharp sword to slay the wicked.

6. Welcome in spring to change the world of men (Yang Zi-rong: Suona solo)
At the foot of Tiger Mountain pine-trees point straight up to the sky and the sun shines through the woods. Yang Zi-rong, in disguise, gallops along the endless road. Facing the mountains, he expresses his deep passion and firm intent: may the red flags fly everywhere: in spite of the great danger, he shall not hesitate to forge ahead. How he wishes he could tell the snow to melt and welcome spring to change the world of men. Revolutionary purpose is coupled with the magnificent scenery to form a profoundly lyrical picture.

7. Mentioning Luan Ping (Yang Zi-rong: Jing-hu solo)
Yang Zi-rong has entered the bandits' lair and cunningly talks about the relationship of Luan Ping, the Vulture and the Eight Terrible Ones. At the same time he offers the Vulture the map he has wanted. He successfully gains the trust of the Vulture.

8. Willing to shed hot blood to make history (Yang Zi-rong: Suona solo)
He drinks in answer to the toast, and shall not rest until his mission is fulfilled. The day is yet to come for him to show his skill. He will willingly shed his blood to make history.

9. These soldiers are quick; men are difficult (Li Yong-qi: Zhu-di solo)
Mother Li is seriously ill and faints. The leader immediately takes off his coat and wraps it round her. The medical orderly takes Mother Li into the inner room and gives first aid. The leader puts rice into the pot to make rice-porridge. Seeing this, Li Yong-qi is deeply moved. From the very beginning the people have always been oppressed by soldiers and bandits. What has happened today cannot free one from doubt. Can the saviours we longed for really have arrived?

10. We are workers and peasant soldiers (Leader: Er-hu solo)
The leader tells Li Yong-qi: We are workers and peasant soldiers, come to destroy the reactionaries and change the world. We have fought for years, north and south, for the Revolution. The people's army shares the hardships of the people: we have come to sweep clean Tiger Mountain.

11. Here before us our army (Li Yong-qi: Zhu-di solo)
Li Yong-qi passionately tells his relatives what is in his heart: Dear brothers, I should not have taken friend for foe. I am ashamed beyond words. For thirty years I have been toiling like a slave. Feeling these lashes and bruises I can hardly suppress my rage. Who would have believed that an iron tree could blossom and that we should live at last to see this day! I will go with the Party to wipe out those beasts. When Tiger Mountain is swept clean and free, I will be in the front rank.

12. I have the morning sun in my heart (Yang Zi-rong: Suona solo)
Yang Zi-rong is at the heart of the enemy. When he looks into the distance, he thinks of his companions. With the army at the ready, his will for battle is all the stronger. During the past seven days he has come to know the disposition of the enemy very well, but when he tries to send the information out he finds something unusual. If he fails, the plan will be ruined, and thinking of that he cannot face the people and the Party. New Year is near and there is no time for delay. Let the grass be knives and the trees swords, down to the foot of the slope. What though the mountain be high? Standing in the cold and melting ice and snow, I have the morning sun in my heart.

13. My resolve is to fight on the battlefield (Chang Bao: Suona solo)
Shouts are heard as everyone bravely trains for battle. Chang Bao's heart is a flame: I have been thinking day and night of killing the wolves. Why must I stay here to guard the village? I must go at once to see our leader and express what is in my heart. My resolve is to fight on the battlefield, for I have pledged myself to kill them all.

14. The tide in my heart cannot be calmed (Leader: Er-hu solo)
The leader advises his companions, at this important moment, to stay calm, but he himself cannot stop the tide in his heart. If there is any sudden change, he must change his plans, and direct his attack straight at Tiger Hall.

15. New Year Eve (Yang Zi-rong: Jing-hu solo)
Yang Zi-rong has outwitted Luan Ping and the danger is past. He has everything ready for the fight at the Hundred Chicken Feast. Just before the battle, Yang Zi-rong is very agitated. In order to defeat the Vulture, one must be calm at this critical moment: I will block this secret tunnel.


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