My Family History

Trace your ancestors and then immortalise them!

                                                     Lang Yuk Sau 郎毓秀 November 4, 1918 - July 7, 2012

 
                      aged  17                                               aged 12                                             aged 20                                           aged 16

 

Lang Yuk Sau was born on November 4, 1918 in Shanghai, although her ancestral home was Lanxi, a few hours away. Her family background was very condusive to the Arts. Her Grandfather Lang Kam Tong was fond of Chinese opera and painting, having a good voice himself. Lang's father, Lang Ching-shan, was known as the "Father of Asian Photographic Art". From an early age, she was influenced by Western music as well as Chinese, particularly Folk Songs.

In the fall of 1934, aged 15, she entered the Shanghai National Conservatory of Music, where she studied under Professor Su Shilin. The EMI record company had already signed her, and she recorded a number of songs including "Family", "Nostalgia", and " Falling Petals." In 1937, she went to the Belgian Royal Academy of Music, studying under Dai Yisi. Upon returning to Shanghai in 1941, she continued her studies of all aspects of music, and continued her mastery of foreign languages. She was also a music translator and a teacher. Most of all, she enjoyed singing in concert. "The concert is my teacher", she would say, "and the applause is the evaluation of my concert."

In 1946, she obtained a scholarship to the United States for a second post-graduate and get vocal bachelor's degree. She had set off for Cincinnati, USA, in March, with her husband Xiao Ji and her 3-year-old daughter Xiao Tong. She left her other daughters, one-year-old Xiao Kai and two-year-old Xiao Bo to stay with the grand-parents. Despite, her skills at singing in many languages, she learned an important lesson ... focus mainly on your own heritage music! In 1948 she became the Huaxi University music department head, and in 1952, she was transferred to Southwest Music Institute.

She still continued to travel around the world, earning great praise wherever she went. Italian tenor, Gigli, was one of many admirers. In 1981, still singing beautifully she announced, "I am over sixty, and energy does not allow me solo concert. I would like to spend more time on translation and summary of concerts and teaching; to leave something of value to future generations, and music, but I'll never say goodbye to music." And she didn't, until her quiet passing on July 7, 2012 in the West China Hospital, Sichuan University. Although 94, she was still teaching up until her illness. She asked for a low-key funeral. Lang Yuk Sau, Yu Yixuan, Zhou Xiaoyan, and Huang Youkui, were known as "The Four Chinese sopranos."

              

                Lang Yuk Sau at You Tube

 

                         Tianlun Song 天倫歌  1935

                 Nostalgia Song 郎毓秀-乡愁曲  1934

                                 glass of wine 杯酒  1934

    Spring Lake - Lang Yuk Sau, Hu Ran, Hu, Chen Jie (1935)

       Is there anything this man I do not love him  1946

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This beautiful song comes from the 1934 film "Nostalgia" , which is about the struggles one encounters following displacement. The misery of exile in a foreign land. As the lyrics say "Where is my home?" I discovered this song only recently, and was deeply moved by it. Lang Yuk Sau is a truly beautiful singer who sings with such deep feeling (as scorpios often do) It is hard to believe that she was not quite 16 years old at the time of this recording!