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Yellow River Cantata

1 hour, 30 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 16 September 2012

Today Aled Jones looks at the fascinating story behind the creation of the "Yellow River Cantata", which skilfully weaves Chinese folk music into a Western form. The Cantata was written in 1939 by a Chinese composer, Xian Xinghai, who had previously studied in Paris with Vincent d'Indy and Paul Dukas. On his return to China, Xian Xinghai merged choral music with Communist politics to write this homage to the Yellow River, an emblem of national pride, in order to encourage the Chinese to resist Japanese invasion. Also in the programme, details of a newly published novel with a plot that's given a choral twist.

Music Played

9 items
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • Image for Fred Rose

    Fred Rose Deep Water

    Performers: The Deep River Boys

  • Image for Traditional

    Traditional Beautiful Scenery of Wuxi

    Performers: China Central Folk Orchestra Choir

  • Image for Jan Sandström

    Jan Sandström Biegga luohte-yoik

    Performers: Swedish Chamber Choir Conductor: Simon Phipps

  • Image for Philippe de Monte

    Philippe de Monte Super Flumina Babylonis

    Performers: The Sixteen Conductor: Harry Christophers

  • Image for Traditional

    Traditional I Stood on the River of Jordan

    Perfomers: The Moses Hogan Singers Soprano: Babara Hendricks

  • Image for Josquin des Prez

    Josquin des Prez Nymphes des Bois (La deploration de la mort d Johannes Ockeghem)

    Performers: Orlando Consort

  • Image for Traditional

    Traditional Shenandoah

    Performers: Kansas City Chorale Conductor: Charles Bruffy

  • Image for Traditional

    Traditional Wade in the Water

    Performers: Mark Kibble Joey Kibble

  • Image for 冼星海

    冼星海 Yellow River Cantata

    Performers: Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus Conductor: Cao Ding Soloist: Yang Xiaoyong Soloists: Zhang Siming abd Wang Jinghua Soloists: Yu Peimin and Yang Xiaoyong


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