Li Sao
(The Lament)

Guqin Solo: Wang Fei

The earliest known score for this piece was published in the Shenqi Mipu of 1425. It is based on the poem of the same name by Qu Yuan of the Zhou Dynasty. Qu Yuan was a loyal and effective official serving under Prince Huai of the State of Chu. Rivals slandered his name, and he was exiled. Confused and disappointed, Qu Yuan wrote his famous poem, which ranks among the greatest works of Chinese poetry, perhaps of all poetry. This long, lyrical poem describes the search and disillusionment of a soul in agony, riding on dragons and serpents from heaven to earth. It expresses love of one's country and the sorrow of separation. It touches on historical themes intermingled with legends and myths. The conflict between the individual and the group is repeatedly described, while at the same time the poet affirms his determination to fight for justice, his passionate desire to save his country and his love for its people.

This is a major work for the qin, and uses some archaic fingering techniques.

The instrument used to make this recording is a reproduction of the famous antique qin Qing Yun Huan Pei.

North American Guqin Association