Ballad of Lan Huahua played by Yu Hongmei


This is a traditional ballad played on the Erhu by Yu Hongmei, accompanied on the Yangqin by an unknown artist.

The emotion and artistry involved in her playing is hard to describe until you have heard her.

The following synopsis of the story is based on comments by Allen Zhou:

The folk story depicts a farmer’s daughter whose name is Lan Huahua (literally a kind of flower in Chinese), she is probably 17 or 18 years old, presumably very beautiful, leading a poor but simple life.

3:00 she is playing in the mountains, maybe with flowers, happy and innocent.

4:25 she hears news she will be forced to marry a wealthy landlord because her father could not pay the rent.

6:09 weeping and sobbing by herself, she wants to resist fate, but in vain, this is the saddest part of the piece.

9:44 she escapes from her husband and is chased by servants of the landlord.

10:40 running uphill, the road becomes narrower and suddenly she is facing a cliff.

10:44 she jumps and falls into the river under the cliff and dies.

11:50 the author’s feeling for Lan Huahua.

12:25 in the village people still remember her as in the past, but they will never see her again.


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