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Instrumentation: 4-part unaccompanied male chorus (T.T.B.B.)

Duration: ca. 4'30"

Lyricist: Xue-qin Cao(曹雪芹)

Language: Mandarin Chinese (or Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese Chinese)

Composition Date: 2015.09

Other Version(s): For 4-part unaccompanied female chorus (S.S.A.A.)

Remark: This piece is extracted from the music theatre work, Grieving Burial of Flowers(葬花﹒遺憾)and rearranged for choir. The original music theatre is commissioned by Yat Po Singers for International Composition Festival 2015. 

Sample Recording:

Reality - Choral Theatre Version (Excerpt) - Yat Po Singers

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

Score Preview: PDF

Text in Original Language:

人生之一 《開卷》










(Can be recited in Mandarin Chinese or Cantonese)


人生之二 《現實》


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, Reality from the choral suite, “Grieving Burial of Flowers” 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.

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