The text of this work is selected from The Book of Songs, China's earliest anthology of poetry consisting of 305 songs popular between the 11th and 6th centuries BC. The setting is an English translation of the two poems so that this oldest of China's literary classics may be better understood. The musical style is not restricted to the traditional folk song form in pentatonic scale: freer melodic expression is achieved through atonal means and the style of a rustic song is retained.
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