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Phoenix Hairpin – For Soprano & Piano 5’ ( Lyrics in Mandarin Chinese)

 

Description:  Phoenix Hairpin is a form of Chinese poetry.  Throughout the history, many people set text to this form, the most famous example coming from great poet Lu You at 1156 AD.  It was written for lady Tang Wan who was his beloved wife and soul mate, and whom he had to divorce due to family pressure.  His poem was about sense of loss and unfulfilled love. 

 

Upon reading Lu You’s Phoenix Hairpin, Tang Wan wrote one back with the same title and same form.  I composed a chamber choir piece for Lu You’s poem several years back.  The Phoenix Hairpin by Tang Wan is written for soprano and piano as a sequel.  It is in a much more reflective and intimate setting.  In her poem here she echoes the same sentiment of lost love, and laments that she is now trapped into a joyless second marriage without even able to express her sorrow.