Three Chinese Love Songs
by Anthony Ritchie, for soprano and piano, Opus 78
Three Chinese Love Songs
Expressive and reasonably taxing for the singer, these are settings of ancient Chinese love poems.
- Opus No: 78
- Category: Solo songs / soprano
- Year: 1996-7
- Duration: 10'00
- Texts: Ancient Chinese poems
- Commissioned by Bryan James
- Instrumentation: soprano and piano
- Level: 3 | Professional and semi-professional musicians
Commissioned by Bryan and Christina James for their daughter Ana's 21st birthday, and to be performed by Ana (soprano).
- I am the North Pole - poem by Tzu Yeh, 3rd-4th century
- I will swallow my tears - poem by T'ang Wan, 12th century
- I saw your sigh - Anon., Yuan Dynasty
Total duration: 9 minutes
I am the North Pole - Tzu Yeh, 3rd-4th century.
- I cannot sleep
- for the blaze of the full moon.
- I thought I heard here and there
- a voice calling,
- hopelessly I answer 'Yes'
- to the empty air.
- It is night again.
- I let down my silken hair
- over my shoulders
- and open my thighs
- over my lover.
- 'Tell me, is there any part of me
- that is not lovable?'
- I had not fastened my sash over my gown
- when you asked me to look out the window.
- If my skirt fluttered open,
- blame the spring wind.
- The bare branches tremble
- in the sudden breeze.
- The twilight deepens.
- My lover loves me,
- and I am proud of my young beauty.
- I am the North Pole
- steady for a thousand years.
- Your sun-like heart
- goes east in the morning
- and west in the evening.
I will swallow my tears - T'ang Wan, 12th century.
- The world's love runs thin.
- Human love turns evil.
- Rain strips, in the yellow twilight,
- the flowers from the branches.
- The dawn wind will dry my tear stains.
- I try to write down the trouble of my heart.
- I can only speak obliquely, exhausted.
- It is hard, hard.
- We are each of us all alone.
- Today is not yesterday.
- My troubled mind sways
- like the rope of a swing.
- A horn sounds in the cold depth of the night.
- Afraid of people's questions
- I will swallow my tears
- and pretend to be happy.
- Deceit. Deceit. Deceit.
I saw your sigh - Anon. Yuan dynasty.
- I hold you tight in my jade white arms.
- You loosen my dress and my cloud dark hair.
- The tips of our tongues are cold with passion
- and sweet in each other's mouths.
- You whisper my name.
- I whisper yours.
- Frantically we kiss each other
- again and again, here and there.
- It is hard loving this way.
- We don't dare play with each other.
- All we can do is steal a few words
- when nobody notices.
- When there are people around
- we exchange sidelong glances.
- I saw your long heavy sigh.
- It delighted my eyes.
- But it tore my heart.