Goodbye Again, Cambridge

再別康橋, 2014

for Tenor Voice, SATB Chorus, Erhu, Violoncello, Guitar, Handbells and Piano 

performed by The Greeners’ Sound and Pun U Association Wah Yan Primary School Handbell Team

performed by The Greeners’ Sound and Double Mallet Ringers

Goodbye Again, Cambridge
Xu Zhimo (1897-1931)

Very quietly I take my leave
As quietly as I came here;
Quietly I wave good-bye
To the rosy clouds in the western sky.

The golden willows by the riverside
Are young brides in the setting sun;
Their reflections on the shimmering waves
Always linger in the depth of my heart.

The floatingheart growing in the sludge
Sways leisurely under the water;
In the gentle waves of Cambridge
I would be a water plant!

That pool under the shade of elm trees
Holds not water but the rainbow from the sky;
Shattered to pieces among the duckweeds
Is the sediment of a rainbow-like dream?

To seek a dream? Just to pole a boat upstream
To where the green grass is more verdant;
Or to have the boat fully loaded with starlight
And sing aloud in the splendour of starlight.

But I cannot sing aloud
Quietness is my farewell music;
Even summer insects heep silence for me
Silent is Cambridge tonight!

Very quietly I take my leave
As quietly as I came here;
Gently I flick my sleeves
Not even a wisp of cloud will I bring away.

To part is bitter, solely because of people’s inflexibility and persistence.To meet is fate, but no one is ever certain about fate. When we no longer persist on the non-achievable, and stay at ease, life will be a lot more unrestrained.

Zhimo Xu’s emotions toward parting in Goodbye Again, Cambridge is properly shaped.  There is no excessive sadness but light helplessness and disconsolation.  Xu chose to depict the complex feelings toward parting lightly with silence.  Musically, plain, melodic vocal parts support the whole piece, and different musical instruments play the sparse phrases, creating a vast and tranquil musical space, echoing Xu’s emotions toward parting.

徐自摩 (1897-1931)










//[Score preview]