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NCPA marks 70th anniversary of WWII

CCTV.com

08-26-2015 18:52 BJT

Full coverage: 70th Anniv. of Victory of Anti-Japanese Aggression War

It's an unusual combination - Peking Opera and a symphony orchestra - but the 70th anniversary of World War Two's conclusion is spurring all manner of artistic feat among the Chinese people. At Beijing's National Center for the Performing Arts, "Never Forget the War" wove together some diverse strands of musical magic.

At Beijing

At Beijing's National Center for the Performing Arts, "Never Forget the War" wove together some diverse strands of musical magic.

The audience were delighted by the incongruous combinations. Among the hightlights: excerpts from the Peking-Opera piece, "The Red Lantern", accompanied on piano; and the symphonic work, "Sha Jia Bang".

And Peking-Opera renditions of "Fighting on the Plains", "Dujuan Mountain", and "Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy" are particularly resonant for China's current commemorations of World War Two.

"These repertoires have impressed generations of people. They eulogize the Chinese people's heroic deeds of unswerving fighting and indomitable resistance to Japanese aggression," said Shang Changrong, Peking Opera artist.

Another highlight was "Lady General Mu Takes Command", singing of Mu Guiying's heroic deeds during the Song Dynasty.

The concert was conducted by renowned conductor Hu Yongyan, an international favourite for his versatile and energetic style, though juggling a symphony orchestra with a Peking-Opera orchestra was no picnic.

"In Peking Opera, the accompanying musicians follow the speed and rhythm of the singer. However, in symphony, the conductor decides everything. So it was hard for musicians from the Peking-Opera side and the symphony orchestra to match each other well in the first few rehearsals. But we finally managed to do that, and some chemistry has happened," Hu said.

The Peking-Opera elements also cited "Farewell My Concubine", "Su Wu Tends the Sheep", and "Memorial Ceremony on the River". And the Second World War was seen through the lens of China's Three-Kingdoms period with "Red Cliff".

But the ultimate purpose of the concert was encapsulated in "The Aspirations of the People" and "The Great Wall on the Silk Road", praising family harmony and peace between neighboring countries.

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