China Heart

Tonight my parents and I attended a concert performed by Guangzhou Symphonic Orchestra (GZSO). What they played tonight was the full program of their tour to the US and Japan in late Sept and Oct this year. The highlight of concert should be "The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto"–the masterpiece of He Zhanhao and Chen Gang; it is also China’s symbolic classic. The folk story of Butterfly Lovers is identified as outstanding as the western Romeo & Juliet. The most amazing thing was the violin concerto was played by a French–Augustin Dumay. Both my Dad and I were amazed at Dumay’s comprehension of the Chinese classic. Music is more than music itself. "The Butterfly Lovers" conveys a great deal of Chinese culture–every note is engraved with "MADE IN CHINA", therefore, to fully express the sentiment of the piece needs tremendous effort to understand the underlying denotation. And the French violinist attained the level of the deep comprehension and gave a well-done performance close to perfect. I had to say the conductor was bravo, too. In the past, I couldn’t tell the importance of a conductor in the orchestra. But I noticed that importance tonight particularly. It was a tough job to combine the performance of a violinist and rest of the group. The conductor was so professional that every note dropped at the right time and lasted at the right pace. Perhaps it is more obvious to see the function of each part of the symphonic orchestra in "The Butterfly Lovers". It’s also what I like to do when watching a symphonic orchestra playing–to find out where each sound come from. However, it was not easy to do that in "The Butterfly Lovers" because every chapter was tightly connected. Once the music was on, you didn’t want it to stop… And when the music was over, the climax of the piece reverberated in your mind for a long time. That’s what we called–strike the sympathetic chord, right? I constantly heard my Dad was sniffing…I reckoned the music had touched him. And later he admitted "The Butterfly Lovers" had made him moved to cry.
Wow, that’s MUSIC!!! Excellent music can pierce into human’s mind and soul; excellent music can uplift human’s spirit; and excellent music can reach human’s emotional world–we will spontaneously shed tears for what we have heard. That’s the power of MUSIC. For myself, I was totally immersed with the patriotism when hearing "The Butterfly Lovers". I thanked GZSO for showing me the essence of the Chinese culture. Yes, that’s what they should bring to the US and Japan to let the world acknowledge us–China and its profound culture with a history of over 5000 years. I enjoyed the performance of "The Butterfly Lovers" a great deal. And I felt honored that I could be a participant in this performance–the most enjoyable participant of a concert–an audience. At that moment, I realized how much I loved my country. I admire the Chinese culture and that makes me gradually implant some knowledge about Chinese culture to our teen readers in our mag. Although I am not an overseas Chinese, I often feel the need to re-study Chinese culture after immersing myself with everything-in-English for years. "The Butterfly Lovers" purified my soul and enriched my understanding of my country. I feel great.
The second half of the concert was not that appreciated. Two sopranos plus a Pekin Opera soprano called "Qing Yi, who expresses the young woman", three traditional Chinese intruments–erhu, pipa and zheng and the large orchestra played "Iris devoilee" (a French name, I guess). Basically, this piece reflects the complexity of women when they fall in love. Because of that, I really think the piece is too abstract to understand, and the mix of western and Chinese performances gives me a feeling of depression. It was funny to mention during the break between chapters, the hall was filled with coughing, sneezing and other noices… Haha, the audience noticed the funny noices and chuckled respectively. I couldn’t understand what the sopranos were singing except screaming from suppression. My friend made a funny remark, "The Pekin Opera soprano sang like a cat mewing." I got a kick out of it and said, "Exaclty, I felt the same. She did a good job to present a female as a feline animal." We both laughed.
Earlier before the concert, we had a seafood dinner together by the Pearl River. Ummm…the crab was YUM!!! It indeed stimulated my appetite a bit. Dad said happily that he had a good time for this birthday this year–nice presents plus this great seafood dinner. I felt good about that. I won’t forget this Mid-Autume Day eve with the awesome concert.

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