A chorus can amount to 100000 muskets




"The wind is roaring, the horse is barking, the Yellow River is roaring, the Yellow River is roaring..." On April 13, 1939, Yan'an Northern Shaanxi Public School Auditorium, the Yellow River Cantata premiered.
In this performance, there were few decent musical instruments: the bass string instruments were made of kerosene drums, the percussion instruments were used with washbasins, and large spoons were placed in enamel jars to create effects... Under the performance of this original band, more than 40 young people with warm blood sang loudly. When the end of "Shout, the Yellow River" fell, applause, cheers and anti Japanese slogans sounded like thunder in the auditorium.
The singing in this auditorium spread out to Yan'an and floated to the north and south of the Yangtze River, becoming an immortal heroic movement in the history of the Chinese nation. The composer of the Yellow River Cantata is Xian Xinghai, who is known as the "People's Musician".
Xian Xinghai, born in a poor boatman family, loved music when he was young. Since he was 13, he has studied in Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, France and other places. In his famous music essay, "Universal Music", he mentioned that "China does not need aristocratic or private music, but the Chinese people need universal music". "Music learners" should "shoulder a heavy responsibility and rescue a depressed China".
After returning from Paris, Xian Xinghai determined to dedicate his music to the motherland and actively participate in the anti Japanese national salvation movement. When the national war of resistance broke out, he joined the Second National Salvation Drama Team in Shanghai and went to Suzhou, Nanjing, Luoyang and other places to carry out anti Japanese literature and art propaganda. Later, he moved to Wuhan, went deep into schools, villages, factories and mines, and the army, and promoted and guided the mass singing activities of saving the nation. During this period, he wrote songs of the War of Resistance against Japan full of patriotic passion and fighting enthusiasm, such as "National Salvation Army Song" and "Guerrilla Military Song". In 1938, at the invitation of the teachers and students of Lu Xun Art Institute, Xian Xinghai went to Yan'an to serve as the director of the music department.
In Yan'an, a land rooted in the masses and full of hope, Xian Xinghai's creative enthusiasm is high. He has created large-scale works such as Production Cantata, September 18th Cantata, and published music papers such as Nie Er, the Creator of China's Emerging Music, and On the National Form of Chinese Music. The world-famous Yellow River Cantata was also born here.
In 1939, Xian Xinghai went to visit the poet who was hospitalized in Yan'an. Xian Xinghai was very excited when he talked about the shock of crossing the Yellow River by wooden boat and the idea of creating a poem to read. He hoped that he could write the lyrics. Hukou Waterfall on the rapids and rapids, the long and loud boatman's chant... Lying on the hospital bed, I dictated more than 400 lines of poetry for five days, and wrote the long poem "Chant of the Yellow River". After leaving the hospital, he invited Xian Xinghai to the cave and recited "The Song of the Yellow River". After hearing it, Xian Xinghai stood up and grabbed the lyrics in his hands, saying loudly, "I'm sure I can write it!"
According to Xian Nina, the daughter of Xian Xinghai, her father's creation was always in a state of excitement for six days and six nights. He repeatedly asked Guang Weiran and his comrades in arms to describe to him the spectacular scene of the Yellow River and the breathtaking scene of crossing the river, and to learn to sing the songs of the Yellow River boatman, so as to experience the spirit and strength of the Yellow River. "In his mind, the people are the sea of resistance against Japan, like the Yellow River. In particular, the boatman rowed desperately, and he deliberately repeated the treatment three times to express the indomitable national spirit." When his creation reached the level of selflessness, Xian Xinghai couldn't help breaking his pipe, so he put his brush stick in the pipe, and the long pipe continued to accompany him in his creation.
Six days later, Xi Xinghai completed the epoch-making music masterpiece "Yellow River Cantata", which was changed three times. This work is divided into eight movements, including "Ode to the Yellow River" and "Defend the Yellow River". The whole song is magnificent and praises the struggle spirit of the Chinese people. It not only shocked Yan'an, but also spread all over China, "Protect your hometown! Protect the Yellow River! Protect North China! Protect all of China!" The passionate roaring of the Chinese people sounded the clarion call of the times to encourage the Chinese people to resist foreign aggression.
However, in Xian Xinghai's opinion, "The success of the Yellow River Cantata is nothing to me, and I will redouble my efforts to contribute my energy and effort to the great Chinese nation... I will write until my last breath."
In June 1939, Xian Xinghai joined the CPC. He wrote in his diary: "Today is the first day of my joining the Party, which can be said to be the most glorious day in my life. I hope I can change my thoughts and outlook on life and fight for the music of the proletariat!"
According to the relevant person in charge of Xian Xinghai Memorial Hall, Xian Xinghai has composed hundreds of songs in his life (more than 250 currently), including 4 cantuses, 1 opera, 2 symphonies, 4 orchestral suites, 1 rhapsody, and many instrumental solo and ensemble works such as violin and piano, among which the most numerous and influential are various mass songs.
For more than 80 years, the Yellow River Cantata has been sung not only in China, but also in the world and even in the universe. In 1949, at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Paul Robertson, an American black singer, sang "Ode to the Yellow River" in the "Yellow River Cantata" in English. In 2007, China's first man-made lunar satellite, Chang'e-1, flew into the sky, and the songs carried on board included Ode to the Yellow River.
On the evening of May 16, the ballad of the Yellow River resounded in the Lanzhou Concert Hall. The large-scale concert "The Chinese Love of the Children of the Yellow River" praised the development history of the Chinese nation with the Yellow River cantata and symphony, and praised the high-quality development of the Yellow River. At the curtain call, in the applause and cheers of the audience for about 5 minutes, Li Xincao, the conductor, and all the performers returned to perform the Yellow River Cantata. Li Xincao said, "In some performances, I will encounter a cold show, but it seems that this work has never been performed before. The venues are full and the scenes are very moving."
Singing the voice of the Yellow River and comforting the heart of a child is the power of the Yellow River Cantata across time and space.