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ClassicsOnline Home » Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy (Orchestral Highlights)
Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy
(A Modern Revolutionary Peking Opera)
1946. At the beginning of the War of Liberation; the Chinese Liberation Army
won a great victory in the battlefield of the North East. Following the
directive of Chairman Mao "Build secure base areas in the North East",
an army leader takes his patroJ of comrades into the deep mountain and forest
to rouse the masses, wipe out the bandits, consolidate the rear and cooperate
with the field army in neutralising the attacks of the American-backed
bandits, supported by the Kuomintang, kill and rob everywhere, with the
intention of creating confusion to the rear of the Liberation Army. The people
hate them. Defeated soundly by the Liberation Army, the bandits retire to their
lair on Tiger Mountain and hope, with this geographical advantage, to resist.
Mountain, owing to its peculiar situation, is better taken by strategy than by
force. Scout platoon leader Yang Zi-rong has examined the approach routes
carefully and with the help of the hunter Chang and his daughter (Chang Bao)
finds traces of the bandits; he has in his possession Horse Cudgel Hsu's Contacts
Map, something the Vulture bandits are eager to lay hands on. Hundred Chicken
Feast is held. At the request of Yang himself and after discussion by members
of the Party Committee and the Soldiers' Democracy
the leader sends Yang, disguised as a bandit, to Tiger Mountain to offer the
bandits the map.
courage burn in Yang Zi-rong's heart as he approaches the bandit's lair. With
wisdom and courage inspired by the Revolution, he wins the trust of the
cunning, wicked Vulture, who has tested and questioned him, but he is always
able to send information out punctually to his own people.
establishes a base for the comrades in Chiapi Valley. Here the people are
encouraged to start production again and to establish a people's army. Li
Yong-qi, a railway worker, has awaited the people's army night and day. Excited
at its arrival, he resolves to join the Communists and wipe out the bandits.
The comrades ski and train the People's Army, now well prepared for battle.
comrades are ready. Shen Teh-hua receives information from Yang Zi-rong again.
Now the situation changes abruptly. The little train is bombed and the bandit
Luan Ping escapes. Immediately the leader decides to take action and advance on
escape Luang Ping returns to Tiger Mountain, putting Yang Zi-rong in grave
danger. Yang, however, is calm and clever in peril and knows well enough the
weaknesses of his foes, whom he attacks. Luan Ping is killed and Yang,
following the original plan, gathers all the bandits at the Hundred Chicken Feast
in Tiger Hall and makes them drunk. The comrades and the People's Army arrive
according to plan and by the time they meet Yang all the bandits have been
recording the vocal parts are performed on solo instruments - the Er-hu, Suona,
Jing-hu and Zhu-di.
1. We long for the time when the sun will shine over these mountains
(Chang Bao: Er-hu solo)
In front of her relatives and the Liberation Army Chang Bao tearfully accuses
the Vulture bandits of the monstrous crimes they have committed. Her only hope
is revenge for this eight-year wrong and she wishes for wings, so that she might
take her hunting-gun, fly to the summit of the mountain and kill all the wolves.
2. Bring the land a new life (Vang Zi-rong: Suona solo)
After listening to Chang Bao's tearful accusation, Yang Zi-rong is angry
and swears to take revenge, seeking justice, an eye for an eye and blood for
blood. The people will be set free once the bandits are wiped out. Once again
they can be masters and the sun will shine over the lofty mountains.
3. We will wipe out the reactionaries (Leader: Jing-hu solo)
Icy winds howl through the woods, rustling branches and shaking the deep
gulleys. Snowflakes dance in a hazy mist and the mountains are mantled in silver.
The Leader lifts his eyes to the distance and grows agitated. Facing this magnificent
everchanging landscape he is reminded of the Liberation Army, fighting its way
over thousands of miles and bearing with it the hopes of the people. The Americans
and Chiang can conspire together, resisting and sniping in the dark. They can
resort to a hundred tricks, but he and his soldiers shall still wipe them out.
4. Destroying the root of evil (Leader: Zhu-di solo)
The Leader has been considering for days the situation of the enemy and
a plan of battle. He remembers the glorious days of Yang Zi-rong's feats and
thinks that he is the man to penetrate the enemy's defences to destroy it from
inside and outside.
5. The Communist (Yang Zi-rong: Suona solo)
Yang Zi-rong thinks of going to Tiger Mountain to wipe out the bandits and
tells the leader of his plan. A Communist must always be ready to obey the Party,
and he will willingly carry any heavy burden: his heart is like a red flame
that will become a sharp sword to slay the wicked.
6. Welcome in spring to change the world of men (Yang Zi-rong:
At the foot of Tiger Mountain pine-trees point straight up to the sky and
the sun shines through the woods. Yang Zi-rong, in disguise, gallops along the
endless road. Facing the mountains, he expresses his deep passion and firm intent:
may the red flags fly everywhere: in spite of the great danger, he shall not
hesitate to forge ahead. How he wishes he could tell the snow to melt and welcome
spring to change the world of men. Revolutionary purpose is coupled with the
magnificent scenery to form a profoundly lyrical picture.
7. Mentioning Luan Ping (Yang Zi-rong: Jing-hu solo)
Yang Zi-rong has entered the bandits' lair and cunningly talks about the
relationship of Luan Ping, the Vulture and the Eight Terrible Ones. At the same
time he offers the Vulture the map he has wanted. He successfully gains the
trust of the Vulture.
8. Willing to shed hot blood to make history (Yang Zi-rong:
He drinks in answer to the toast, and shall not rest until his mission is
fulfilled. The day is yet to come for him to show his skill. He will willingly
shed his blood to make history.
9. These soldiers are quick; men are difficult (Li Yong-qi:
Mother Li is seriously ill and faints. The leader immediately takes off
his coat and wraps it round her. The medical orderly takes Mother Li into the
inner room and gives first aid. The leader puts rice into the pot to make rice-porridge.
Seeing this, Li Yong-qi is deeply moved. From the very beginning the people
have always been oppressed by soldiers and bandits. What has happened today
cannot free one from doubt. Can the saviours we longed for really have arrived?
10. We are workers and peasant soldiers (Leader: Er-hu solo)
The leader tells Li Yong-qi: We are workers and peasant soldiers, come to
destroy the reactionaries and change the world. We have fought for years, north
and south, for the Revolution. The people's army shares the hardships of the
people: we have come to sweep clean Tiger Mountain.
11. Here before us our army (Li Yong-qi: Zhu-di solo)
Li Yong-qi passionately tells his relatives what is in his heart: Dear brothers,
I should not have taken friend for foe. I am ashamed beyond words. For thirty
years I have been toiling like a slave. Feeling these lashes and bruises I can
hardly suppress my rage. Who would have believed that an iron tree could blossom
and that we should live at last to see this day! I will go with the Party to
wipe out those beasts. When Tiger Mountain is swept clean and free, I will be
in the front rank.
12. I have the morning sun in my heart (Yang Zi-rong: Suona
Yang Zi-rong is at the heart of the enemy. When he looks into the distance,
he thinks of his companions. With the army at the ready, his will for battle
is all the stronger. During the past seven days he has come to know the disposition
of the enemy very well, but when he tries to send the information out he finds
something unusual. If he fails, the plan will be ruined, and thinking of that
he cannot face the people and the Party. New Year is near and there is no time
for delay. Let the grass be knives and the trees swords, down to the foot of
the slope. What though the mountain be high? Standing in the cold and melting
ice and snow, I have the morning sun in my heart.
13. My resolve is to fight on the battlefield (Chang Bao:
Shouts are heard as everyone bravely trains for battle. Chang Bao's heart
is a flame: I have been thinking day and night of killing the wolves. Why must
I stay here to guard the village? I must go at once to see our leader and express
what is in my heart. My resolve is to fight on the battlefield, for I have pledged
myself to kill them all.
14. The tide in my heart cannot be calmed (Leader: Er-hu
The leader advises his companions, at this important moment, to stay calm,
but he himself cannot stop the tide in his heart. If there is any sudden change,
he must change his plans, and direct his attack straight at Tiger Hall.
15. New Year Eve (Yang Zi-rong: Jing-hu solo)
Yang Zi-rong has outwitted Luan Ping and the danger is past. He has everything
ready for the fight at the Hundred Chicken Feast. Just before the battle, Yang
Zi-rong is very agitated. In order to defeat the Vulture, one must be calm at
this critical moment: I will block this secret tunnel.
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