Traditional Chinese music, to me, is like a Chinese painting, or a poem. When you listen to it, it reminds you of beautiful nature that surrounds you: mountains, rivers, spring flowers, the moon and its reflections. My choice today, Blossoms on a Spring Moonlit Night, is precisely that, and more.
It was originally written as a poem in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) by poet Zhang Rouxu (660-720). Only two of his poems survived today and Moonlit Night was one of them. The original Chinese poem can be found in the picture below or at the end, if you can read Chinese characters and appreciate it. For the English translation, go HERE.
According to historical records, this piece of classical music was initially a famous Pipa solo, first appeared in Qing Dynasty with a different title. Overtime, it has been adapted to a more modern Chinese instrumental orchestra.
As usual, there are many videos to choose from on YouTube for this most popular music piece. The first one I present to you is a Pipa solo performance, with a fabulous scenery of Zhangjiajie, the first Chinese National Park in Hunan Province. The second was performed by an Ensemble from China Central Orchestra, Lead Pipa: Yang Jing, arranged by Qin Peng Zhang & Luo Zhong Rong.
春江花月夜春江潮水连海平，海上明月共潮生。 滟滟随波千万里，何处春江无月明。 江流宛转绕芳甸 ，月照花林皆似霰。 空里流霜不觉飞，汀上白沙看不见。 江天一色无纤尘，皎皎空中孤月轮。 江畔何人初见月，江月何年初照人？ 人生代代无穷已，江月年年望相似。 不知江月待何人，但见长江送流水。 白云一片去悠悠，青枫浦上不胜愁。 谁家今夜扁舟子，何处相思明月楼？ 可怜楼上月徘徊，应照离人妆镜台。 玉户帘中卷不去，捣衣砧上拂还来。 此时相望不相闻，愿逐月华流照君。 鸿雁长飞光不度，鱼龙潜跃水成文。 昨夜闲潭梦落花，可怜春半不还家。 江水流春去欲尽，江潭落月复西斜。 斜月沉沉藏海雾，碣石潇湘无限路。 不知乘月几人归，落月摇情满江树