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Yu, the Lady of Beauty 虞美人

For solo harpsichord or piano, fixed media and Peking Opera

Year:  2021   ·  Duration:  3m 30s

Year:  2021
Duration:  3m 30s

Hanzhong Kang

Composer:   Hanzhong Kang

Films, Audio & Samples

Hanzhong Kang: Yu, the Lady...

Embedded video
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Sample Score

Sample: Pages 1, 2 and 4 of music

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Consort Yu, also known as "The Lady of the Beauty", was the wife of the warlord Xiang Yu, who competed with Liu Bang, the founder of the Han dynasty (202 BC), for supremacy over China in the Chu–Han Contention. When Xiang Yu was defeated, instead of surrendering to the enemy, Yu committed suicide with Xiang in the barracks.

Their love story has moved generations of Chinese literati. In order to commemorate Consort Yu, ancient Chinese poets created a unqiue tune name for her - "Yu, the Lady of Beauty". The composer selected the three most representative verses under this tune name. Include "Yu, the Lady of Beauty · Peach Planted in heaven and Dew" by Guan Qin, "Yu, the Lady of Beauty · Wave Sound patting pillow" by Shi Su and " Yu, the Lady of Beauty·When is it time for Spring Flowers and Autumn Moon?" by the last emperor of the Southern Tang Dynasty Yu Li.

Performance suggestion:

This piece is written for the solo harpsichord with singing Peking Opera. It requires the performer to show some improvisational dancings and facial expressions. -At the beginning: Start to dance with reciting the poems Finally move to the piano and be ready to play. -Bar 68: Playing with singing the poems. The melody is your left hand, the emotion should be sorrow.

The duration should not exceed four minutes.

This piece is written for David Chisholm's Love Project in 2021

Dedication note

To Yu Ji (虞姬) and Xiang Yu (项羽)