About this Recording
8.225840 - MUSIC OF THE SONG DYNASTY (AD 960-1279) (Dehai Liu, Ming-yuan Liu, Runfu Zhu, Shang-e Fan, Xiang-ting Li)
English  Chinese 

Music of the Song Dynasty


Jiang Baishi

Jiang Baishi, also known as Baishi Tao Ren, the White Stone Taoist Priest, is among the more famous poets of the Southern Song Dynasty. He was born about the year AD 1155 and died in 1221, and presents the Wan Yao School (pure, fresh and lyrical) as opposed to the Hao Fang (bold and unconstrained).

Skilled as a poet, Jiang also proved himself a competent composer and in the year 1197 he proposed to the Emperor a revision of the formal Ya Yue, court music, a plan that was not accepted. His own compositions, however, were included in the six chapters of his Music of Baishi Tao Ren, which is an important source for our knowledge of music of the Song Dynasty and its notation. There are seventeen songs in the collection, with one piece for Guqin.

The present recording includes the seventeen songs of the collection and the piece for guqin. Although Jiang Baishi wrote the words for the songs, not all the music is his. They are here arranged for instrumental ensemble in the spirit of the original score.

The Heavenly Shadow of Apricot Flowers

The poet sails past the city of Nanjing and looks to the North, where the country is clear and beautiful, while the boat is gently carried by the water.

Singing for Plum Blossoms across the River

In spring the plum blossom on the riverbank reminds the poet of his beloved, whose absence he regrets.

The First Interlude to Beautiful Clothes

The poet sighs as he recalls his life of wandering and his past youth.

Song of Jade Plum Blossoms

The music praises the plum blossom in snow and calls for blessings on the poet’s friends.

Drunken Song in the Shang Mode

This piece of music depicts the joy of spring.

Song of Yangzhou

Jiang mourns the destruction of Yangzhou by the Jin army and the sorrows of his country.

Song in the Jiao Mode

The countryside in spring and the girls at play remind the poet of the friends of his youth.

Song in the Zhi Mode

The poet revisits Eastern Zhejiang and remembers the first time he was there.

Immortal of the Stone Lake

This poem serves as a birthday present for the poet’s friend, to whom he conveys his respects and best wishes.

Hidden Fragrance

With plum blossom on a winter night the poet recalls his poetic youth.

Loose Shadow

Looking at the plum blossom the poet remembers Wang Zhaojun and Princess Chao Yang in the period of the Southern and Northern Dynasties. He compares their fate to the falling petals and hopes that some artists may depict their beauty.

Passion of the Red Coat

The poet is lonely in the autumn breeze, as the lotus flower withers, and he yearns for the North, now occupied by the enemy, and for his beloved.

The Sorrow at the Long Pavilion

The music expresses feelings of nostalgia.

Light Yellow Willow

The traveller yearns for spring, and expresses his feeling for the homeland.

The Song of Autumn Evening

The poet thinks of his beloved, solitary under the harvest moon.

The Song of Sorrow

The poet looks on the countryside, laid waste by the enemy, and thinks of its former prosperity.

Song of the Green Chamber

The poet describes the fine new An Yuen House at Wuchang, while the music hints at the weariness of his wandering life.

Song of Ancient Sorrow

A woman regrets the loss of her youth, resembling the poet’s devastation of his own country.

Close the window