Song of Guangling 廣陵散

a composition for piano by Li Cheong in 2005, based on a Chinese Qin tunes
Nancy Loo, piano

[audio:http://www.archive.org/download/GuanglingSong/GuanglingSong.mp3]

Score (PDF)
Recording (MP3)

The Song of Guang-ling is originally a traditional piece written for guqin, the seven string zither. Guqin is often regarded as an instrument of the literati in the ancient China. While most guqin music are calm, gentle and meditative, the Song of Guangling is exceptionally vigorous and dramatic. The story of the piece was about the assassination of a noble during the Warrior State period of China. The score of the piece was published in Shen Qi Mi Pu (1425 A.D.) in the Ming dynasty, yet the earliest record of the piece can be dated back to the Han Dynasty (25-220A.D.)

This piano piece is a modern approach to the ancient theme. It is not a direct transcription, but a reconstruction of the theme with a tint of modern western harmony. While guqin is more capable to elaborate on a single line melody with various kinds of vibrato and sliding tone, piano is more capable for playing chords. Modern western harmonies influenced by Messiaen and Stravinsky are added to the original melody to display a greater variety of tone colour.

《廣陵散》本來是一首古琴樂曲。古琴音樂一向給人寧靜淡泊的印象,但《廣陵散》卻不是這樣。它氣勢磅礡,或許可以算是琴曲之中的「武曲」吧。

今存《廣陵散》曲譜,最早見於明代朱權編印的《神奇祕譜》(1425年),譜中有關於「刺韓」、「沖冠」、「發怒」、「投劍」等內容的分段小標題, 所以古來琴曲家即把《廣陵散》與《聶政刺韓王》看作是異曲同名,內容描寫戰國時代鑄劍工匠之子聶政為報殺父之仇,刺死韓王,然后自殺的悲壯故事。現在最常聽到的版本是管平湖根據《神奇祕譜》修訂的。

和《廣陵散》相關的還有很多的有趣傳說和故事,例如魏晉時期竹林七賢之一的嵇康在被處死前都要彈奏一曲《廣陵散》。金庸《笑傲江湖》裏面更曾以此作為小說的題材,書中提及兩位武林高手曲洋、劉正風挖古人墳墓而得到《廣陵散》,改編而成《笑傲江湖之曲》。

將古琴曲改編給西洋樂器,並不是一件新鮮事,自從二十世紀中國開始西化以後,中國有不少作曲家都曾嘗試將古琴曲改編,例如王建中的《梅花三弄》,周文中的 《漁歌》、陳其鋼的《梅花》和香港作曲家林樂培的《春江花月夜》等等。他們有些將中國的旋律配上西方的和聲,有些則著重模仿古琴的音色,有些則利用原曲的素材再創作。

這首《廣陵散》的鋼琴改編版也不是一個忠於原著的改編。鋼琴不能夠表現古琴的「吟猱綽注」等技巧,但鋼琴勝在能夠利用和聲來表現不同的音色。在儘量保持原曲旋律的基礎上,這首曲嘗試配上一些比較現代的和聲和節奏,無可否認地受到梅西安和史塔拉汶斯基的影響。

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