REGISTER NOW AND GET
• 5 FREE tracks! • 101 tracks for $9.99
ClassicsOnline Home » YAN: The White-Haired Girl (Orchestral Highlights)
The White-Haired Girl
 Act 1:
(a) North Wind Blow
(b) Flower Dance
(i) Young Girls' Dance
(ii) Xi'er's Solo Dance
(i) Wang Dachun's Solo Dance
(ii) Xi'er and Wong Dachun's Dance
Father Fighting with Huang Shiren
Crying Over the Death of Her Father
Dachun Scolding Huang Shiren
Dachun and Family Fighting Against Huang Shiren's People
Dachun's Solo Kun-fu Dance
Meets Aunt Zhang
(i) Xi'er Brings Tea
(ii) Huang's Mother Beating Xi'er
(iii) Aunt Zhang Stops Huang's Mother
(iv) Servants Bringing Food
(v) Huang Shiren Beating Xi'er
(vi) Xi'er Fights Back
(vii) Xi'er Beaten Up by Huang Shiren
(viii) Huang's Mother Praying God
(ix) Aunt Zhang's Consolation to Xi'er
(i) Xi'er Fights Back Against Huang Shiren
(ii) Aunt Zhang Saves Heroine A (11:26)
 Act 3:
Zhang Helps Xi'er to Escape
Shiren's People Chasing After Xi'er
up the Mountain
Fighting the Wind
Fighting Against the Wild Beast
(i) Army Arrives at Xi'er's House
(ii) Children Bringing Flowers' Dance
(iii) Sending Love to My Dear Ones
Dachun Gets Back Home
Zhang Tells Everybody About Xi'er's Situation
Celebration of Freedom
was born in 1924, a native of Gui province. She started her involvement with
music at the age of fourteen, and later worked as a singer and violinist in the
Chongfeng Opera House of Yanan and the Central Orchestra. She subsequently
studied composition at the Lu Xun College of Fine Arts, continuing her studies
at the Beijing Centra) Conservatory. She has served as President of the Huanan
Music and Drama Troupe, Chairwoman of the Beijing Children's Arts Conservatory,
with similar positions in Shanghai. Her compositions include a number of
large-scale ballets and the children's opera Shuang-shuang and Her Stepmother.
opera-ballet The White-Haired Girl by Yan Jinxuan is based on the opera of the
same name, with instrumental arrangements by Chen Benhong, Zhang Hongxiang and
Chen Xieyang. The work was first written in 1964 and gradually grew into a
large-scale opera-ballet first performed at the Shanghai Spring Festival in
1965. The score makes use of music from various ethnic groups in Southern
China, from Hebei and Shanxi Bangzhi Opera. Use is made of both Western and
Overture to the White-Haired Girl makes use of three principal themes, the
first appealing for revolt, the second theme of Xi'er and the third associated with
the villains of the story.
has the explanatory title Unrestrained Rage. The action itself is set in
Yangezhuang Village in Hebei Province in 1937. The tyrannical landlord Huang
Shiren collaborates with the Japanese invaders and commits every atrocity in
exploiting the villagers, whose anger cannot be restrained.
Great Hatred, opens with snow falling as the North wind blows. Xi'er waits
anxiously for her father, who has left his house to avoid his creditor, but will
return home to celebrate with her the coming Spring Festival. Four girls, friends
of Xi'er, come to see her, carrying lanterns. When they find her waiting, they
bring out the paper-cut window decorations they have made and give them to her.
They dance happily, in an effort to comfort her. Xi'er accepts the paper
decorations and dances with her friends. Then she pastes the paper on the
windows, as darkness falls. The girls bid her farewell and go home. Wang Dachun,
Xi'er's lover, enters, t)ringing her a bag of flour. Xi'er gives Wang Dachun a
sickle and they express their love for each other, looking into the happy future.
father, Yang Bailao, after avoiding his creditor for a week, returns home and
expresses his hatred of the landlord. Xi'er, excited, happily welcomes her
father home, and Yang Bailao binds his daughter's hair with a red ribbon he has
bought in the market.
point Huang Shiren and his henchman Mu Renzhi come to Dun Yang Bailao for
money, with the real intention of taking Xi'er in settlement of her father's
debt, but he resolutely refuses to sell his daughter and Huang Shiren batters
him to death. Seeing her father dead, Xi'er throws herself on his body and
weeps bitterly. When he hears her crying Wang Dachun hurries over with other
villagers. He rebukes Huang Shiren indignantly for his brutal violence and he
and other villagers fight bravely against Huang Shiren's henchmen, who finally
seize Xi'er. With unrestrained fury Wang Dachun takes up a hatchet and
threatens to fight to the death with Huang Shiren. He is dissuaded by Uncle
Zhao, a secret member of the Communist Par1y, who takes out a red arm-band of
the Eighth Route Army and tells Wang Dachun and the other villagers that only
under the readership of the Communist Par1y and through arms can the poor
over1hrowthe enemy. Wang Dachun and some other young people wave farewell, as
they go to join the Eighth Route Army.
In Act II
Xi'er makes her escape from Huang Shiren. After her capture, however, she is
forced to work from morning to night in Huang's house. She is helped by Aunt
Zhang, one of Huang's servants. Huang's mother enters the hall of the house to
worship the buddha and orders the slave-girl to massage her back with her
fists, but the girl is so tired that she cannot help nodding off. The old woman
pulls out a hairpin and viciously pricks the girl's face. Xi'er carries a cup
of tea to the old woman, who complains that the tea is too hot and splashes it
over Xi'er's face. The latter is angry and turns against the old woman, who
takes up her stick and tries to scald the girl with burning incense. At this
point Aunt Zhang rushes to Xi'er's rescue.
Shiren bids the sJave-girls bring in offerings for his mother to check. The old
woman falls asleep, and Xi'er brings her another cup of tea. Huang Shiren
attacks her, hurling obscenities at her. Xi'er does her best to resist and accidentally
breaks the tea-cup. Huang Shiren rushes out, but his mother, wakened by the
noise, calls her people to seize and whip Xi'er, who is punished and loses
consciousness, then to the hauled back before the old woman by her attendants.
landlord worships the Buddha again and then goes out. Aunt Zhang is deeply
grieved by Xi'er's misfor1une. When the latter regains consciousness, she
determines to escape. Huang Shiren tries to assault the girl, who repels his
advance, slapping his face and throwing the incense-burner at him. Aunt Zhang
hurries to Xi'er's rescue, pretending to bring in a cup of tea and Huang Shiren
awkwardly makes his escape.
In Act III,
Determination of Revenge, Aunt Zhang secretly escorts Xi'erto the entrance to
the village. Hearing pursuing foot steps, she urges Xi'er to run away quickly.
With lanterns in their hands, Mu Renzhi and two other men pursue Xi'er, who
runs on in desperation. Coming to a river, she hides herself in the reeds, and
when Huang Shiren's people find one of Xi'er's shoes by the side of the river
they presume that she has drowned herself and go back disappointed. Seeing them
run away, Xi'er struggles out of the reeds. Hungry and soaked to the skin, she
sings resolutely: I will not die! I will live on! I will take revenge!
Longing for Sunrise, brings renewed hope. Xi'er enters distant mountain country
and begins her hard struggle against nature. Sand, blown by a fierce wind,
beats on her face, as she stubbornly struggles forward. In late autumn, as
vegetation withers, she wanders in the wilderness, in search of food. Attacked
by a ferocious tiger, she fights bravely and beats the animals back. Then in
the bitter cold of winter she struggles against the biting wind and driving
remote wilderness Xi'er has passed one year after another. Her hair has turned
white, yet her determination to take revenge is all the greater. She is eager
to see the red sunrise in the East and the poor people set free.
brings further hope, as the red flag is raised over Yanggezhuang Village. It is
three years later, in the later spring, and the Eighth Route Army, led by the
Communist Party, liberates Yanggezhuang Village. The happy villagers welcome the
soldiers, shouting their joy and waving flags. Carrying red flowers, the
children dance to welcome the victorious army. A group of young women offers
the soldiers red dates. Now Wang Dachun leads a band of soldiers into the
village and the villagers are even more excited when they see him.
is so happy at Wang Dachun's return that she bursts into tears. Taking his
hand, she tells him what has happened to Xi'er. Holding up a gun, he expresses
his resolve to set free all those in the world who suffer like Xi'er. Other
soldiers join the dance, followed by Uncle Zhao and a group of young men,
brandishing their swords. Wang Dachun and Uncle Zhao call on the soldiers and
villagers to deal with the tyrannical Huang Shiren. Excited and indignant, the
soldiers and villagers determine to wipe out the Japanese invaders and to
punish wicked 1andlords and traitors, and now they dance together to show their
unity of purpose. A slave-girl of Huang Shiren hurries in to tell them of the
escape of Huang Shiren and Mu Renzhi, but Wang Dachun and Uncle Zhao lead the
people in pursuit.
brings an angry encounter. On a stormy night Xi'er comes upon a temple, which
she enters in her search for food. She is about to take the offering from the
altar, when she hears foot steps and hides. Huang Shiren and Mu Renzhi enter,
seeking shelter from heavy rain in the temple. They prostrate themselves before
the image of the goddess, seeking her help. There is a peal of thunder. A flash
of lightning shows Xi'er the faces of her two enemies and she jumps up onto the
altar, glaring at them in anger. Panic-stricken, they run away and Xi'er throws
a candlestick after them, rushing out in pursuit.
moment the pursuers enter the temple and find an umbrella and a hat left by
their quarry. Uncle Zhao leads the continued pursuit, while Wang Dachun
searches the temple carefully. Xi'er returns to the temple for food, but seeing
a soldier there, runs away. Wang Dachun has searches the white-haired girl and
runs after her.
Sunrise, brings a happy ending. Xi'er has fled to the cave where she has been
living, but her anger against Huang Shiren continues. Wang Dachun enters the
cave, searching, and, thinking that he is one of Huang's people, she prepares
to fight, but then recognises her old lover. Now she tells him of her bitter
experiences and he tells Xi'er that Yanggezhuang has been liberated by the
Eighth Route Army. Gradually she realises that she will soon be mistress of her
own destiny. She shouts: Revenge! Struggle! and the couple dance together.
breaking and the people come to the cave and are happy to see Xi'er. They cover
her white hair with a red handkerchief. The old regime turned a person into a
ghost, while the Communist Party has brought the ghost to life again. The
morning sun shines into the cave, as Xi'er and Wang Dachun walk out together.
carries the Revolution through to the end. Yanggezhuang has changed.
Militia-women with re-tasselled spears drill in the village square and Uncel
Zhao brings news of the discovery of Xi'er, who is welcomed by the villagers.
Now she denounces Huang Shiren and the people listen, growing increasingly
indignant. They add their own accusations and Uncle Zhao pronounces the death
sentence on Huang Shiren and Mu Renzhi and this is immediately carried out.
rises from behind the mountains and the people sing. Beloved Chairman Mao, you
are the great liberator of our people! The liberated peasants dance in
celebration and Uncle Zhao builds a bonfire and the account-books and papers of
Huang Shiren are burned. Two young men carry in a wooden board which one hung
above the gateway to Huang's house, with the words Virtue Hall on it and this
they break in pieces. Xi'er, wearing new clothes and a red kerchief, dances in
celebration of liberation.
leads a band of soldiers to the front. Xi'er and some other villagers have
joined the army, determined to carry through the Revolution to the end.
Last Albums Viewed
YAN: The White-Haired Girl (Orchestral Highlights)