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Grieving Burial of Flowers
葬花 · 遺憾

Instrumentation: Choral Theatre - Yat Po Singers

Duration: ca. 15'

Lyricist: Various Chinese poems (adopted and written by David Ho-yi Chan)

Language: Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese Chinese

Composition Date: 2015.07

Première Date: 2015.07.18

Première Artists: Yat Po Singers

Remark: Commissioned by Yat Po Singers for the International a cappella Composition Festival

Sample Recording:

Prologue & Reality - Choral Theatre Version (Excerpt) - Yat Po Singers
Fly and Fade - Choral Theatre Version (Excerpt) - Yat Po Singers
Truth and Fiction - Choral Theatre Version (Excerpt) - Yat Po Singers

(By the courtesy of Yat Po Singers. Shared with permission.)

Text in Original Language:

人生之一 《開卷》











人生之二 《現實》


人生之三 《飛.謝》






人生之四 《真.假》



人生之五 《葬花》




Programme Notes:

In the course of life, many things would just come and go like rain, hitting the ground and that is it. This kind of helplessness and botheration, many times, could only be contained in the innermost of hearts. Consumed and languished in loneliness, only leads to the grieving burial of flower. With reference to the poem, the Song of the Burial of Flowers by Dai-yu Lin in the Dream of Red Chamber, lamenting the exact emotions, Grieving Burial of Flowers, a mini 5-scene a cappella choral theatre, breathes out the air of hopelessness and sings every regret of life.

Part 1: Prologue

In the course of life,

Many things would just come and go like rain,

Hitting the ground and that is it, as if

Penned with joyful cheers,

Carved by hot and bitter tears.

Everyone calls the author a fool;

None his honest message hears.


The wind, the blossoms, the moonlight, the snow...

And this Dream of Red Chamber,

That our grief for the lost golden days may continue.


Part 2: Reality

Three hundred days and sixty make a year, and therein lurk

Daggers of wind and swords of frost to do their cruel work.

Part 3: Fly and Fade

Flowers fade and fly, and flying fills the sky,

Their bloom departs, their perfume gone, yet who stands pitying by?

If heaven too had passions, even heaven would grow old,

Man will be at ease with none to ponder.


But so long as life goes on and on,

Remaining is choices of none.

If heaven too had passions even heaven would grow old,

The moon will always be round without hatred.

Part 4: Truth and Fiction

Truth becomes fiction when the fiction is true;

Real becomes not-real when the unreal is real.


Part 5: Burial of Flowers

I who can bury flowers like this a laughing stock shall be;

I cannot say in days to come what hands shall bury me.

See how when spring begins to fail each opening flow’ret fades;

So too there is a time of age and death for beauteous maids;

And when the fleeting spring is gone, and days of beauty o’er,

Flowers fall, and lovely maidens die, and both are known no more.

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