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Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

 

ChinaSong
24 Chinese Songs Arranged for string quartet By Yi-Wen Jiang:

Miao Mountain Morning [arr. Gang] [3.56]
Yunnan Folk Songs [5] [arr.Wang]: Dali Girl [1.26]; Following the Brother [0.54]; Puzzle tune [1.06]; Mountain Song [1.51]; Dragon Lantern Tune [1.29] Shepherd’s song [arr. Sha] [4.52] Pieces from Temple Fair [2] [arr. Zu-Xin Jiang]: Busker’s Little Tune [2.20]; Double Dance [1.27] Pictures from Bashu [arr. Hu-Wei Huang]: Morning Song [1.32]; Echo in a Deep Valley [1.15]; Lyrical Tune [1.47]; XuanZi Dance [1.09]; Spring in Chengdu [2.47]; Evening Dance at Aba] [1.08]; Shandong Folksongs [2] [arr. Cui]; Naive Tune [2.03]; Drizzle [5.14]
Red Flowers in Bloom [arr. Liu] [4.24]
Yan-Jun HUA (1893 - 1950)

Reflection of the Moon in the Er-Quan spring [arr. Wu] [7.09]
Cheng Qian XUE

Caprice in the style of an Henan folk song [5.16]
Jing-Ping Zhang

Harvest Celebration [3.29]
Bi-Guang TANG

Liuyang River [2.45]
Qi-Ming LU

Young Soldier’s Joy [2.59]
Shanghai String Quartet: Weigang Li, Yi-Wen Jiang, vv; Honggang Li, va; Nicholas Tzavaras,vc.
Eugenia Zuckerman, flute, guest artist.
Notes in English
Recorded at St. Anthony’s Seminary, Santa Barbara, California, USA, March 2002
DELOS DE 3308 [68.56]
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For generations we had been taught that the oriental people are fundamentally different from Europeans, so much so that any attempts to understand them or their culture would be futile. In particular, for many of us the words ‘Chinese music’ still suggest the sounds of someone trying to kill a tomcat in a junkyard with a baseball bat. If this has been your perception, then this disk will come as a very pleasant surprise. It should have been obvious all along that folksongs tend to be folksongs wherever encountered, and the human desire to sing beautiful tunes should be, and is, a universal.

Beautiful songs is what we have here, and, even with a ‘Chinese’ pentatonal harmony here and there, it sounds no more strange to modern ears than much European modal folk music (Tracks 2 and 18). The violinist and arranger describes these songs as those he enjoyed hearing as a child, songs that have had deep personal meaning during difficult times. His desire to share this music with a wider audience gives these performances a particular urgency and beauty. Many songs have been transcribed and arranged several times for different instruments before Jiang produced his string quartet version heard here. In some cases arrangement virtually amounts to composition based on fragments and authentic styles (Track 7), yet I read nothing here which suggests that the musical aesthetic has been radically altered to appeal to a foreign audience, and I hear nothing here to suggest that the music has been commercialised.

Paul Shoemaker


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Miao Mountain Morning
Five Yunnan Folk Songs - Dali Girl
Five Yunnan Folk Songs - Following the Brother
Five Yunnan Folk Songs - Puzzle Tune
Five Yunnan Folk Songs - Mountain Song
Five Yunnan Folk Songs - Dragon Lantern Tune
Reflection of the Moon in the Er-Quan Spring
Caprice
Shepherd's Song
Harvest Celebration
Liuyang River
Young Soldier's Joy
Two pieces from Temple Fair - A Busker's Little Tune
Two pieces from Temple Fair - Double Dance
Yao Dance
Pictures from Bashu - Morning Song
Pictures from Bashu - Echo in a Deep Valley
Pictures from Bashu - Lyrical Tune
Pictures from Bashu - XuanZi Dance
Pictures from Bashu - Spring in Chengdu
Pictures from Bashu - Evening Dance at Aba
Two Shandong Folk Songs - Native Tune
Two Shandong Folk Songs - Drizzle
Red Flowers in Bloom


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