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Wednesday, 2nd February 2011

Sunny intervals

"The clear moon glitters like tears down the vast sea,
  Smoke comes out from sunlit jade in the Blue Field.
  A moment like this could await future recall,
  But has come and gone before I knew."

This is my layman attempt at translating part of a poem by the Tang Dynasty poet Li Shangyin. The moon, the sea and the tears in the first line suggest a touch of sadness under a clear moon on the seaside or lakeside. The second line depicts warm air coming out from the sunlit Blue Field, which allegedly was renowned for its jadestones. The third and fourth lines describe the state of mind --- the scenery would easily invite fond memories, but this could not wait because the poet was already mesmerized.

Listening to Debussy's 'Claire de lune' followed by 'The afternoon of a faun', you may conjure up a similar feeling. There is so much in common between the East and West.

Figure 1     Li Shangyin (813-858) (Source: Wikipedia), Figure 2     Debussy (1862-1918) (Source: Wikipedia)

From February to April, I will be presenting on the radio music on nature and weather by various composers --- from the early classical period in the 18th century to 20th century. Just tune in to Radio 4, RTHK, every Friday at 4:35 p.m. The programme will be in Cantonese.

This is a first for me, and would not have been possible without the support and encouragement from Radio 4's Jimmy Shiu and Tina Ma. Being just a music enthusiast, it has been quite a challenge for me to try to cover as many composers (and their music) as possible. Do forgive me if I miss your favourite pieces.

B.Y. Lee

Last revision date: <17 Jan 2013>