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Poetic Fragrance from China: Traditional Chinese Music Concert | Updated: 2020-06-16 09:44
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To convey the profound friendship between the people of China and France, and as the European Music Festival unfolds, the China Cultural Center in Paris joins hands with China National Opera & Dance Drama Theater, along with Chinese artists in France and students at the center and will hold Poetic Fragrance from China: Traditional Chinese Music Concert, an online concert of traditional Chinese music on June 21.

Since COVID-19 broke out in Wuhan of China, renonwed cultural figures in France have sent out their timely support to China's fight against the pandemic. More than 300 artists and cultural workers have jointly issued a public letter, 40 theater performing artists lent their voice to the collaborative song Together, and players of the Paris Saint-Germain Football Club wore jerseys with "Be Strong, China" printed on them. When France met rising cases of COVID-19, the Chinese government provided tremendous assistance in shipping out medical supplies. Both countries played their due part in supporting each other.

At the concert, many revered folk songs of China will be performed, including the percussion piece Dragon and Tiger; Shanxi folk song Woodwind and percussion Watching Yangge Dance; the chamber music Korean Folk Songs; the chamber music Shining Snow and Rouge Flowers, adapted from folk song of Tajik ethnic group Flowers Are Still Blooming; erhu and guqin Ode to the Deity, which was listed as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible cultural heritage of humanity; renowned Peking Opera number Deep Night, and a folk rendition of classic French songs La Vie en Rose and Les Champs-Elysées. Nearly 62 minutes of performance will cover some of the most well-known pieces from both China and France, with sounds that integrates the traditional and the modern to give the audience a true taste of folk art from different parts of China. Friendship between China and France will be deepened through music. With joined effort, we are confident to win the fight against the pandemic.

With the support and approval of the 39th French Music Festival committee, Poetic Fragrance from China: Traditional Chinese Music Concert was included as part of the European Music Festival and was introduced to French audiences as a highlight of the festival. The festival, which was established in 1982, has gradually gained influence as one of the most important music festivals in Europe, attracting participants from nearly 120 countries and more than 300 cities to participate annually. This year, it will be broadcast live globally through media in Chinese, French and English on online platforms including People's Daily, CCTV News, Xinhua, Chinanews, China Daily website, China Culture & Tourism app and Cmedia TV, as well as social media platforms including YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. The world can now appreciate the everlasting beauty of Chinese and French art and touch the youthful pulse in the cultural exchanges between China and France.

Traditional Chinese Music Concert – Playlist

1. Percussion Dragon and Tiger 5'

Composer: Li Minxiong

This piece derives from traditional gong and drum music in East China's Zhejiang province. With a unique ethnic style, it reveals the different characteristics of each drum, building up a rich experience of drum music ensemble.

2. Woodwind and percussion Watching Yangge Dance 6'

Shanxi folk song

Adaptation: Jing Jianshu

One of the popular tunes among Yangge music in North China's Shanxi province, this song demonstrates the flexibility of suona and Chinese harmonica. It depicts a scene where a couple of country girls hurry to see the Yangge dance despite rainy weather.

3. Chamber music Korean Folk Songs 7'

Composer: Wang Yunfei

Integrating multiple Korean folk songs, this piece highlights the specific style of Korean music.

4. Erhu and guqin Ode to the Deity 5' (Performed by China Cultural Center in Paris)

Erhu: Guo Gan

Guqin: Yang Lining

This is one of the major songs played on guqin. Listed as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible cultural heritage of humanity in 2003, this song expresses good wishes for good weather and an abundant year.

5. Chinese and French Songs May We Last Forever; La Vie en Rose (Performed by China Cultural Center in Paris)

May We Last Forever was inspired by litterateur Su Shi's Prelude to Water Melody from the Song Dynasty (960-1279). It shows the poet's reflection on secular emotions and the philosophical quest for truth and eternity.

La Vie en Rose, a master work by French singer Edith Piaf, is deemed one of the most famous love songs in France.

6. Chamber music Shining Snow and Rouge Flowers 7'

Arrangement: Wang Danhong

Imbued with rich ethnic charisma from Northwest China's Xinjiang, this is a piece that celebrates the gorgeous natural landscape and the industrious people living on that land.

7. Jinghu and the band Deep Night 6'

Composer: Wu Hua

Deep Night was originally a popular Peking Opera song, depicting the epic love story between legendary hero Xiang Yu and his beloved concubine Yu.

8. Ensemble Marching on the Bright Road 5' (Sino-French Ensemble)

Composer: Liu Tianhua Adaptation: Peng Xiuwen

Incorperating some Western composition techniques, it showcases people's pursuit of a better future.

Bonus scene: Les Champs-Elysées

Les Champs-Elysées is a classic song by Joe Dassin and very well-known in France.

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