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New Impossibilities
Arabian Waltz [7:36]
Osvaldo GOLIJOV 
Night of the Flying Horses [6:50]
Galloping Horses [1:57]
Zhou LONG 
Song of Eight Unruly Tipsy Poets [7:22]
Sandeep DAS
Shristi [7:42]
The Silent City [22:16]
Ambush from Ten Sides ((arr. Li Gang Sang, China Magpie) [12:09]
Sandeep DAS, Joseph GRAMLEY, Dong-WON KIM, Shane SHANAHAN, Mark SUTER
Vocussion [2:29]
The Silk Road Ensemble
Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Miguel Harth-Bedoya
rec. Orchestra Hall, Symphony Centre, Chicago, Illinois, 12, 13, 15, 17, 20 April 2007
SONY CLASSICAL 88697 103192 [74:05] 
Experience Classicsonline

This is the third disc of concerts recorded live from the year-long Silk Road Festival that took place in Chicago in 2007. Following on the heels of When Strangers Meet and Beyond the Horizons, this disc records some of the highlights of concerts that took place in April of that year. The celebrations were instigated and master-minded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and involved more than seventy organisations and groups in two hundred and fifty odd performances and events - including lectures, workshops and educational activities. The idea was to explore the Silk Road musical traditions in one great fusion of East and West. The whole project was a phenomenal success, leading to greater understanding between musicians of many different cultures, and increased learning and skills on all sides.

The disc includes some exciting music, and is well worth a listen. It opens with an Arabian Waltz by Lebanese composer Rabih Abou-Khalil - a spirited work with tremendous rhythmic drive and verve. This is followed by Argentinean-American composer Osvaldo Golijov’s Night of the Flying Horses. This is a splendid work, with an air of mystery that lends an exotic and intriguing sense until, just before its conclusion, the work goes into manic hyperactivity - wonderfully wild and exhilarating. Galloping Horses ensues, based on the eponymous traditional Chinese melody - said horses are graphically portrayed in the music, composed by Yang Wei on the pipa (a type of Chinese lute) and DaXun Zhang, bass, who met through the Project. The Song of the Eight Unruly Tipsy Poets by Chinese-born Zhou Long is suitably chaotic music, and is followed by Indian Sandeep Das’s Shristi, inspired by a statue of a dancing Shiva, with its vocal effects and virtuosic part for percussion. The Silent City, a lament for a destroyed valley in Kurdistan, is the longest work on the disc at over 20 minutes - a slow, quiet, reflective piece by the wandering Iranian composer Kayhan Kalhor. Ambush from Ten Sides, a traditional Chinese melody arranged for the Project, is almost apocalyptic - a highly dramatic and pictorial piece of music. Gripping and quite terrifying, it must surely be overwhelmingly exciting heard live. The disc concludes with Vocussion, which, as its title might imply, is vocal percussion. It is a highly impressive and unusual work, and appears to have been well appreciated by the audience - an excellent conclusion to a fascinating disc!

Em Marshall 

Ensemble members
Nicholas Cords (viola)
Sandeep Das (tabla, vocals)
Jonathan Gandelsman (violin)
Joseph Gramley (snare drum, vocals, caxixi, Pakistani dumbek, tom-toms, bamboo wind chimes)
Colin Jacobsen (violin)
Eric Jacobsen (cello)
Kayhan Kalhor (kamancheh)
Dong-Won Kim (vocals, jang-go)
Liu Lin Yo (guitar)
Yo-Yo Ma (cello)
Wu Man (fipa vocals, dumbek, caxixi, conch shell)
Shane Shanahan (rattle)
Mark Suter (bodhran, ghavel, cajon, vocals, riq, bongo, pod shakers)
Wutong Kojiroumezaki (sheng, xun shakuhachi)
Yang Wei (pipa)
Daxun Zhang (bass)


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