DING SHANDE (1911-1995): Long March Symphony.
Catalogue Number: 03R058
Label: Marco Polo
Format: CD reissue
Description: This 68-minute programmatic propaganda piece was written between 1959 and 1962, the composer himself having followed the entire route of the Red Army’s 6,000-mile retreat from Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist forces from October of 1934 to October of 1935. Its five movements are titled “Embarking on the Road”, “Red Army, the Beloved of the Various Tribes”, “Rush Capture of the Lu Ting Bridge”, “Crossing Snow Mountains and Grassland” and “Triumphant Junction”, so it’s a four-movement symphony plus and extra slow movement. Ding uses the musical styles of his nation’s Western oppressors - you’ll think of Shostakovich’s Seventh in the first movement and it’s spot-the-composer elsewhere throughout - but enriches the piece with multiple Chinese folk songs from various locaities and the result is very like an epic film score. Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra; Yoshikazu Fukumura. Original 1984 Hong Kong Records release.