Daisyfield Archive of Japanese Traditional Music
Back to the songs Dittrich Puccini
|Song Title||View or Listen|
|Sakura (melody only)||さくら||mus pdf mid mp3 xml|
|Sakura (arranged for piano by R. Dittrich, 1894)||さくら||mus pdf mid mp3 xml|
|Saita-Sakurai (arranged for guitar quartet by Tom Potter)||さくら||mus pdf mid mp3 xml|
A beloved old song, composer unknown. Cherry blossoms symbolize love,
so the blossoms’ transitory existence can symbolize the impermanence of
Rudolf Dittrich (1894) (see below) gives the following lyrics to the song (Japanese, German, and English)
*Yayoi=a poetical expression for the third month of the ancient Japanese calendar.
"Sakura" is possibly the most popular Japanese song worldwide. The song is often performed as a solo koto piece.
"Sakura" appears in Giocomo Puccini's opera Madama Butterfly, in oboe and strings while Butterfly shows Pinkerton her meager but treasured possessions. Among these items is the hara-kiri dagger.
For a list of Puccini's Japanese songs, see Japanese Songs in Puccini's Madama Butterfly on this website.
"Sakura" also appears in André Messager’s 1893 opera,
Madame Chrysanthème. This work premiered
11 years before Butterfly, and the plots of the two
operas have many similarities.
Dittrich, Rudolf, Nippon Gakufu (“Six Japanese Popular Songs collected and arranged for the Pianoforte”), Breitkopf and Härtel, Leipzig, 1894.Nagai, Y., and Kobatake, K., Japanese Popular Music, A Collection of the Popular Music of Japan Rendered in to the Staff Notation, S. Miki & Co., Nos. 106 and 107 Shinsaibashi Road, Osaka, 1892.
Piggott, Francis Taylor. The Music and the Musical Instruments of Japan. London: B.T. Batsford, 1893, page 131. In Google books.
Powils-Okano, Kimiyo, Puccinis "Madama Butterfly", Verlag für systematische Musikwissenschaft GmbH, Bonn, 1986 (in German).