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Chinese New Year

Celebrate Chinese New Year

Celebrate Chinese New Year with a wide range of Chinese themed titles on Naxos Direct, including the brand new series ‘Folk Music of China’, now available on the new Naxos World label.
Viewing 45 items
Image Folk Music of China, Vol.1: Folk Songs of Qinghai
A new series exploring China’s rich and diverse musical heritage. The songs featured in this recording are folk songs of the five minority ethnic groups of Qinghai and Gansu provinces – Tu, Bonan, Dongxiang, Yugur and Salar. As with Chinesetraditional visual arts, the song titles explain their mood and origin.

£12.99
Image Folk Music of China, Vol. 2: Folk Songs of Inner M
This series explores China’s rich and diverse musical heritage. The songs featured in this
recording are folk songs of five minority ethnic groups of Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang
– Mongol, Daur, Oroqen, Evenki and Hezhen. As with Chinese traditional visual arts, the
song titles explain their mood and origin.

£12.99
Image Folk Music of China, Vol.3 - Folk Songs of Yunnan
This series explores China’s rich and diverse musical heritage. The songs featured in this recording are folk songs of three of the minority ethnic groups of Yunnan province – Wa, Blang, and De’ang. As with Chinese traditional visual arts, the song titles explain their mood and origin.

£12.99
Image FOLK MUSIC OF CHINA, VOL. 4
This series explores China’s rich and diverse musical heritage. The songs featured in this recording are folk songs of four of the minority ethnic groups of Guangxi province – Zhuang, Bouyei, Mulao, Maonan. As with Chinese traditional visual arts, the song titles explain their mood and origin.

£12.99
Image Chinese Cities and Provinces
£9.99
Image Chinese Cities and Provinces
£9.99
Image Chinese Cities and Provinces
£9.99
Image Chinese Cities and Provinces
£9.99
Image Chinese Cities and Provinces
£9.99
Image Chinese Traditional & Contemporary Music
£13.99
Image Chinese Buddhist Music of Tianjin
£13.99
Image Chinese Traditional and Contemporary Music
£13.99
Image Chinese Naxi Music from Lijiang
£13.99
Image Chinese Music for the Qin Zither
£13.99
Image Chinese Chinese Traditional & Contemporary - Music
£13.99
Image Chinese Buddhist Music of Tianjin & Naxi Music fro
£13.99
Image Evening Song - Traditional Chinese Music
£13.99
Image Chinese Music For Flute
£13.99
Image POPULAR CHINESE ORCH MUSIC
£13.99
Image Trombone Fantasy
On this disc Christian Lindberg joins the Taipei Chinese Orchestra in a programme of works for trombone and Chinese orchestra. The disc also includes one of his own works for the orchestra, inspired by the poetic sounds of the Chinese instruments: The Wild Rose. Also by Lindberg, Kundraan was originally composed for trombone and chamber orchestra but was re-arranged for this disc. Yiu-Kwong Chung has here adapted a famous aria from the Peking opera Cursing General Cao Cao into a striking piece in which the solo trombone is supported by the traditional trio of Peking Opera (clapper and drum, descant fiddle and lute) and orchestra. For the Mongolian Fantasy, a couple of traditional songs and typical Mongolian throat-singing technique have provided the starting point. Recueillement focuses on the first and last lines of Baudelaire's poem.

£13.99
Image Various: Chinese Recorder
OUR Recordings is proud to announce the third installment in their pioneering ''Dialogue - East Meets West'' series. The music of many of China's greatest living composers and musicians remains unknown outside of their homeland. As a part of their ongoing series, ''Dialogue - East Meets West'', Michala Petri and Lars Hannibal, provide the opportunity for Western and Chinese musicians and composers to creatively collaborate in a truly international, musical dialogue. Chinese Recorder Concertos features four contemporary masterworks by Chinese, Chinese-American and Taiwanese composers recorded in stunning SACD sound.

£13.99
Image CHINESE ORCHESTRAL MUSIC
£13.99
Image CHINA Hok-Man Yim: Poems of Thunder


Yim Hok-Man is a true master percussionist. Respected throughout the East Asia continent, he started drumming when he was just ten years old. Besides refining his drum technique and skill in Chinese music, Mr. Yim further emphasized his standing by studying and becoming an accomplished percussionist in Western music too. Performing in various ensembles through his career, Yim has proved himself internationally as a drum expert.



But the Chinese music of his homeland remains his specialty. With his powerful recording Poems Of Thunder, Yim now aims to introduce the world to percussion sounds integral to Chinese folk music. From Beijing Opera to Cantonese tunes, to folk melodies of South Jiangsu province and the Zhoushan Islands, to the contemporary compositions of modern composer, Yim gives us a cross section of Chinese music as it was meant to be heard - as stunning, dramatic music that demand a listener's attention.



Recorded inside the China Central Television Studios of Beijing using the latest studio technology, Yim has produced an extraordinary record of exceptional performances, capable of delicate and whimsical subtleties one minute and rhythmically powerful dynamics the next. Backed by the Central Virtuosi conducted by Xia Fei-Yun, Poems Of Thunders' range of percussive sounds is a revelation and a stellar introduction for western audiences.



At fourteen, Yim was already studying with China's Central Philharmonic and stayed as a member of the orchestra for twenty years. Over his career, he has performed with some of the most renowned ensembles of the region as a soloist. In 1984, Yim joined the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra as the Percussion Principal and has toured with them through China, South Korea, Canada, Taiwan and the United States. Currently, he is also an instructor at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts.



Poems Of Thunder is Yim's first recording in years, and demonstrates his commitment to performing music with progressive integrity. There is the sprite and humourus tone of the opening modernist composition, 'Poem Of Chinese Drum' - by Li Zhen-Gui and Tan Dun. But the record is even more fond of presenting the Sino-regional charm in works like 'The Golden Peasant Flying Out Of The Mountain' (folk music of the Tujia tribe) and 'Big Gun Shooting Towards The Sky' (folk gong and drum music in Sichuan province). Through it all is Yim's distinctive and dexterous drumming.



With the debut of his astonishing Poems Of Thunder - available at Naxos World's very affordable budget price no less - Yim is set to bring all the beauty and power inherent in Chinese music from the mainland out to the world stage.



£6.99
Image CHU / LIU / SHENG / SHI / XU / YIN: The Yellow Riv
Yellow River Concerto


Happy Loso


Colourful CloudsChasing the Moon (Cantonese folk song)


Seven Short PiecesBased on Inner-Mongolian Folk Songs


Four Dances from TheMermaid Ballet Suite


Red Lilies Crimson andBright


Three Variations on anAncient Chinese Melody



Throughout the long history of China music has occupied an importantposition, in earlier times not least in its association with ceremonies ofultimate political significance. For the new rulers of China who came to powerin 1949, music continued to have a significant r??le to play in society and inpolitical education. This resulted in inevitable limitations and restrictions,while certain acceptable works enjoyed enormous popularity. One of these, the YellowRiver Concerto, was based on the famous Yellow River Cantata, a workdating from the period of the Sino-Japanese War. In November 1938, after thefall of Wuhan to the Japanese, the famous poet Guang Weiran (Zhang Guangnian)led the Third Resistance Theatre Troupe eastward across the Yellow River to thecentre of anti-Japanese resistance in the Luliang Mountains of Shanxi province.

At the ferry near Hukou (Kettle Mouth), where the waters of the Yellow Riverflow down from a narrow gorge to form a magnificent waterfall, he listened tothe sound of the wind and the waves. When he reached Yanan in January 1939, hewrote the poem sequence Yellow River and recited it at a party on theeve of the Spring Festival. Greatly excited by what he had heard, Xian Xinghaiexpressed a desire to set the poems to music for the Theatre Troupe. Shelteringin a cave, the composer worked for six days without rest, to finish the vocalwork that has come to occupy a leading place in contemporary Chinese music. Thecantata was first performed on 13th April the same year and was soon to beheard throughout China as a symbol of resistance.



Xian Xinghai himself was born in Macau in 1905, the son of a fisherman.

After the death of his father he studied in Singapore, supported by his mother,who worked as a laundress at his school. He later returned to study in Canton.

His musical training, which he had started in Beijing, continued at theShanghai Conservatory and in 1930 in Paris as a pupil of Vincent d'Indy. Hereturned to China in 1935, to be involved in active resistance against theJapanese. In 1939 he joined the Communist Party and spent the years from 1940until his death in 1945 in Moscow.



The concerto derived from the Yellow River Cantata was devised bythe committee of composers then found advisable for such a task, Yin Chengzong,Liu Zhang, Chu Wanghua, Sheng Lihong, Shi Shucheng and Xu Feisheung. With asolo piano texture recalling the Warsaw Concerto as much as Rachmaninov,the work condenses the cantata, but carries the same heroic message. There arethemes representing anger, grace and nostalgia, illustrating various stages inthe story of the Yellow River, a symbol of Chinese civilisation, a source offertility but at the same time a force of nature that offered a certain dangerand had to be controlled by human effort. At the opening piano arpeggiosrepresent the waves of the river, leading to a strong and simple melodyassociated with the boatmen on the river, struggling against the forces ofnature. The second movement, introduced by a cello melody, depicts the grandeur of the scenery through which theriver passes and the achievement of the Chinese people in several thousandyears of civilisation. The third movement opens with a flute solo, in the styleof a Shanbei folk-song. The piano introduces the rhythmic Yellow Water melody.

Suddenly the mood changes and the river grows angry, the challenge offered bythe Yellow River a counterpart to the challenge offered by a foreign aggressor.

The final movement opens with the patriotic melody Defend the Yellow River, leadingto the triumph of The East is Red and the National Song, joining invictory.



The ballet TheMermaid, a work that won almost as much popularity, was written by DuMingxin and Wu Zuqiang, the former the composer of The Red Detachment ofWomen. The movement titles from the orchestral suite derived from theballet are self-explanatory, leading to the customary triumphant conclusion.

The work itself enjoyed considerable popularity and formed part of conventionalChinese repertoire at a time when this was otherwise restricted.



In addition to musicthat may have some extra-?¡musical moral to convey, such as Happy Loso inwhich the old man's happiness is attributable to predictable circumstances,folk-songs, often with words adapted to the new conditions of life, haveprovided a ready source of material. Colourful Clouds Chasing the Moon isbased on a Cantonese folk-tune, as are the seven short pieces based onfolk-songs from Inner Mongolia and Red Lilies Crimson and Bright. The ThreeVariations on an Ancient Chinese Melody suggest another thematic source forcontemporary reworking, in an idiom that remains thoroughly accessible to theaverage Chinese listener, a necessary prerequisite.



Keith Anderson



£7.99
Image Ten Chinese Guanzi Classics
£1.50
Image Horn Fusion
£12.99
Image Scenes From China
£13.99
Image Dances From China
£13.99
Image SCHNEIDER:CHINA MEETS EUROPE
£13.99
Image Echoes Of China
This recording showcases both the rich variety and the sonic surprises to be heard in contemporary Chinese piano music. Myth and landscape loom large. Pulitzer Prize-winner Zhou Long's Pianobells takes legend as its inspiration in an evocation of sonorous bells borne on the wind. For Doming Lam the goal is reinterpreting Chinese ancient melodies and imitating gongs and drums to evoke the atmosphere of Chinese opera. For GRAMMY® Award-winner Tan Dun, his Eight Memories are a 'diary of longing' - musical watercolours inspired by folk music.

£7.99
Image Chinary Ung: Music Vol.3
£13.99
Image Eight Visions
£7.99
Image Adams: Nixon In China
A longtime collaborator of John Adams and champion of his music, Marin Alsop directs this live recording of Opera Colorado's 25th Anniversary Celebration production of Nixon in China, presented at Denver's new Ellie Caulkins Opera House during the 2008 National Performing Arts Convention, and featuring an internationally recognized cast.

Alice Goodman's epic libretto and John Adams's distinctive music weave together a colourful fabric of actual events from President Nixon's historic visit to the People's Republic of China with intimate examinations of the opera's real life characters.

The spectacle, drama, humor and pathos of this masterpiece remain as compelling today as when the opera was premiered in 1987.

\[The] performance, brilliantly conducted by Marin Alsop and delivered by a strong cast led by baritone Robert Orth in the title role... Alsop, a proven master of Adams' style both early and late, led a dynamic performance... Conducting the Colorado Symphony, she shepherded her forces nimbly." San Francisco Chronicle concert review"

£14.99
Image Music of Chinary Ung Volume 1
£13.99
Image HOPE, Bob: Thanks for the Memo
£5.99
Image Xian Xing-hi: Yellow River Cantata
£9.00
Image SEEGER: Vocal, Chamber and Instrumental Works
Ruth Crawford Seeger (1901-1953)


Vocal and Chamber Music


A remarkable pioneering figure of the Americanmodernist movement, Ruth Crawford was born in EastLiverpool, Ohio in 1901. The daughter and granddaughterof ministers, the young Ruth lived in variouslocations before settling in Jacksonville, Florida, whereshe received a serious musical education and started toteach piano. In 1921 she came to the rich culturalclimate of Chicago to pursue compositional studies atthe American Conservatory. Her composition teacher,the German-born composer and violinist Adolf Weidig,encouraged her non-traditional explorations. Anotherextremely influential mentor was her piano teacher, thecharismatic Djane Lavoie Herz, a woman of wideknowledge and interests, who had been a student ofArtur Schnabel and Alexander Scriabin. The Herzesheld regular soirees, attended by prominent intellectualsand musicians, including Henry Cowell and DaneRudhyar, who were to take a special interest inCrawford. The Herzes also introduced her to Theosophyand non-Western thought. Another Chicago friend,Alfred Frankenstein, later a prominent critic, introducedher to recent European music, and was responsible forher meeting the celebrated poet Carl Sandburg, whobecame a close friend and inspired her own passion forwriting poetry. She was to set many of Sandburg'spoems in her compositions.

In 1929 Ruth Crawford moved to New York, havingalready had well-received performances in Chicago andNew York, and publication of her Piano Preludes inCowell's New Music Edition. The indomitable Cowellpersuaded a skeptical Charles Seeger, Cowell's formerteacher and a composer and ethnomusicologist of keenintellect and originality, to accept her as a pupil. Thesame year she was named the first woman to receive aGuggenheim Fellowship in composition. She spent1930-31 abroad, primarily in Berlin, travelledextensively, and was received warmly and respectfullyby such notables as Alban Berg, Bela Bartok, JosefMatthias Hauer, Arthur Honegger, Albert Roussel, andNadia Boulanger.

Upon returning to America, Ruth Crawford andSeeger married and established their home in NewYork. Mike was born in 1933, with Peggy, Barbara, andPenelope to follow. (The well-known folk-singer PeteSeeger, Charles's son by his first marriage, was twelveat the time of Ruth and Charles's marriage.) Life wasdifficult for the Seegers during the Depression; theirintense concern with society's plight drew them toleftist causes, such as the Composers' Collective, whichthey helped organize. Deeply committed to music of thepeople, the Seegers also worked on settings of Americanfolk-music for the collections of John and Alan Lomax.

In 1935 the family moved to Silver Spring,Maryland. With the responsibilities of raising a bigfamily, composing became impossible during thisperiod of her life, but she energetically pursued musicalprojects that could be accomplished in more manageableunits of time. She and Charles transcribed thousands offield recordings in the American folk-song archive ofthe Library of Congress; she was active as a pianoteacher and taught music in several nursery schools, andshe wrote her own folk-song books for children, whichare still popular. (Their children Mike and Peggy wereto become noted folk musicians.) Except for her onesymphonic work, the short folk-inspired Rissolty,Rossolty, commissioned and broadcast by CBS in 1941,she completed no compositions from 1933 to the early1950s. In 1952 she wrote the Suite for Wind Quintet fora competition (which she won), but shortly after, herhealth took a devastating turn. In the summer of 1953cancer was diagnosed, and her life was tragically cutshort later that year.

Ruth Crawford Seeger's compositional career isstrikingly divided into two phases, separated by herstudies beginning in 1929 with Charles Seeger. Herearliest mature compositions, dating from about 1924,show strong influences of post-Romanticism andimpressionism, and, in the restless, ambiguousharmonies and mystical aura, particularly the music ofScriabin. Slow movements are often dark and brooding,and fast movements are filled with exuberant themes,developed in an improvisatory spirit.

The earliest major work on this recording, theSonata for Violin and Piano (1925-26) has a dramatichistory. Although it had been received extremelyfavourably, the composer mysteriously burned the work,along with many of her poems, in the early 1930s,perhaps because Charles had been highly critical of herearly work. Years later, her former student Vivian Finefound that she had a copy of the Sonata and \repremiered"it in 1982.

The Suite for Five Wind Instruments and Piano wascomposed in 1927 and extensively revised in 1929under Charles Seeger's guidance. First heard in a privateconcert of her music presented by her New York patronBlanche Walton in 1930, the Suite languished for manyyears, considered problematic for its two versions, andwas first performed publicly only in 1975.

As the composer began to work with Charles Seegerher music became much more concentrated. Eachmovement is restricted to a single idea developedintensively. The structures become more sharply etched,the musical lines more controlled in their dissonance,the conceptions more daring. This was the period of herwork with such experimental techniques as serialism,tone-clusters, Sprechstimme, rhythmic independence ofparts, numerical orderings, and spatial separation ofperforming factions.

The four Diaphonic Suites, composed in 1930 forsolo or duo wind/string combinations, and the PianoStudy in Mixed Accents (1930) were compositionaletudes, intended to perfect the technique of"dissonating" long melodic lines - that is, propelling theharmonic tension, without respite, from first to last note.

Her long-range control of dissonance and mastery ofform reached perfection in Three Songs (1930, 1932).

This bold, original work is performed by two groupsindependent of each other: a "concertante" of voice,oboe, percussion, piano, and an "ostinato" of thirteenplayers, seated as far as possible from the soloists.

While the songs can also be performed in a versionwithout the ostinato, its presence adds a rich and oftenbizarre dimension, befitting Sandburg's evocativepoems.

Crawford Seeger's last work before the hiatus in hercomposing was Two Ricercari: Sacco, Vanzetti andChinaman, Laundryman (1932), composed for aComposers' Collective concert. The texts deal with themiseries of exploited immigrants and the notoriousSacco-Vanzetti trial of 1921 (in which two Italian-Americans were executed for the murder of a guardduring a robbery, for which it was widely believed theywere innocent). To project the impassioned text, shecombined singing with Sprechstimme (a cross betweensinging and speaking, where only a relative vocalcontour is indicated, not specific pitches).

Other major works by Crawford Seeger are NinePiano Preludes (1924-28), Suite for Small Orchestra(1926), Suite for Piano and Strings (l929), Five Songs(1929), Three Chants for chorus (1930), her greatmasterpiece String Quartet (1931), Rissolty, Rossoltyfor orchestra (c.1941), and Suite for Wind Quintet(1952). For decades Ruth Crawford Seeger was knownalmost exclusively through her later, more avant-gardecompositions. In recent years, more of her earlier workshave been published and performed, making possible are-evaluation and deeper appreciation of this uniquevoice in American music.

Cheryl Seltzer


?® 2005 Continuum
"

£7.99
Image Jones: The Geisha
£9.99
Image CORIGLIANO: Symphony No. 2 / The Red Violin Suite
£13.99
Image CHINA/USA Man Wu: From a Distance
Throughout my career I have always loved a challenge and always believed that the pipa, in principle, is no different than any other musical instrument in terms of its musical expression. The pipa belongs not only to the Chinese classical repertoire, but also to the rest of the world.

Since I moved to the West, I have collaborated with many wonderful musicians and composers. With them, I have taken the pipa in many different directions. These collaborations have given me a tremendous musical experience. In this improvisational album, I wanted to see how far the pipa could go, and how diverse my musical style could be. That is why I made this album.

Though I enjoy playing both traditional pieces and contemporary works, my most intense curiosity is with improvisation. It gives me so much freedom to express myself in so many ways. I would like to introduce all Naxos World listeners to my version of the new pipa music.

Thanks go to all the following people:

My husband Peng and my lovely son Vincent for their inspiration and support. Dolores Canavan and her predecessor, Andrew Sun, at Naxos World. Special thanks to Abel Domingues, Stuart Dempster, DJ Tamara, David Kumin, Stewart Lerman, John Schaefer, Alan Thwaits, David Harrington and my manager Colette Domingues, who have given so much to this project. Finally, to my father, Wu Guo Ting, for allowing me to use his beautiful painting for the CD cover.

WU MAN

Wu Man is an internationally renowned pipa virtuoso, cited by the Los Angeles Times as ‘the artist most responsible for bringing the pipa to the Western World.’ She is an inheritress of the Pudong School of pipa playing, one of the most prestigious classical styles of Imperial China and is a graduate of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Wu Man is the first recipient of a master’s degree in pipa and is not only an outstanding exponent of the traditional repertoire, but is also recognized as a leading interpreter of contemporary pipa music.

Born in Hangzhou, China, Wu Man studied with Lin Shicheng, Kuang Yuzhong, Chen Zemin, and Liu Dehai at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. She currently lives in Boston where she was selected as a Bunting Fellow at Radcliffe Institute of Harvard University. Wu Man was selected by Yo-Yo Ma as the winner of the City of Toronto Glenn Gould Protegé Prize in music and communication. Wu Man is also the first artist from China to have performed at the White House with the noted cellist with whom she now performs in the Silk Road Project.

When in China, Wu Man received many awards, including the first prize in the 1st National Music Performance Competition. She also participated in many groundbreaking premieres of exciting works by a new generation of Chinese composers. Since moving to the USA, she has continued to champion new works and has inspired new pipa literature from composers Terry Riley, Philip Glass, Lou Harrison, Tan Dun, Bright Sheng, Chen Yi and Zhou Long.

Recently, scientists have begun to revise their view of evolution. Evidence now suggests that evolution is not a slow, gradual process; it actually occurs in relatively quick bursts of energy — nothing much happens for a time, then a change of environment suddenly prompts a surge of activity. That certainly seems to be the case with the pipa. This collection of works by Wu Man captures the ancient Chinese lute at a time when it is being utterly transformed.

The pipa has had a long and notable history. (One of the more notable features of that history is that unlike so many of the world’s music traditions, which were restricted to men, Chinese instruments like the pipa have been played by women for more than a thousand years. In that particular aspect of evolution, the pipa was far ahead of, for example, the guitar.) But the world changed dramatically in the 20th century, with its new transportation and media technology, and in the hands of Wu Man, the pipa has exploded beyond its traditional boundaries.

That doesn’t mean that Wu Man is dragging the instrument, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century. The pipa is made for this sort of thing: it sports an enormous repertoire of strumming, plucking, and smacking techniques, so that in many traditional works the pipa seems almost percussive in some spots, almost orchestral in others. Its scalloped neck means the player can create all sorts of microtonal effects. In short, it is full of possibilities, just waiting for the right hands to coax them out of the instrument.

Wu Man has already played everything from the Elizabethan Englishman John Dowland to Terry Riley’s In C, and has commissioned and premiered new works for the pipa. Now, on Pipa: From A Distance, she offers a tantalizing glimpse into the world of contemporary pipa music. Wondering what the pipa would sound like if it were combined, say, with an Australian didgeridoo? Or played with John Cage-style "preparations" on the strings? Or bowed like a cello instead of plucked? You can stop wondering and start listening: Wu Man’s already done it.

— John Schaefer

Invocation

Based on a love song I heard when I was a child.

©2003 Wu Man (ASCAP) & Abel Domingues (ASCAP)

Wu Man: pipa / Stewart Dempster: bells / Abel Domingues: e-bow guitar, samples, audio manipulations

Dancing!

The melody used here is a popular street-dance tune from

the Northern part of China.

©2003 Wu Man (ASCAP), Stuart Dempster (ASCAP),

Abel Domingues (ASCAP) & Tamara Weikel (ASCAP)

Wu Man: pipa / Abel Domingues: plectrum banjo, samples/beats / Stewart Dempster: didgeridoo / DJ Tamara: turntables, additional samples

Ancient Shadows

I have always wondered how the pipa would sound if I played it with a bow. The technique is rather difficult — the pipa has a flat bridge, not an arched one like a cello or violin — but I feel the sound is very soulful. During the session I imagined I was laying down on a green grassland under the blue sky. I closed my eyes and the music took me back, far away...

©2003 Wu Man (ASCAP) & Stuart Dempster (ASCAP)

Wu Man: bowed pipa / Stewart Dempster: rainstick, bird calls

Journey

I like to think of the pipa as a teller of stories. Here, she is telling

the story of my long journey from China to the West.

©2003 Wu Man (ASCAP), Stuart Dempster (ASCAP)

& Abel Domingues (ASCAP)

Wu Man: pipa / Stewart Dempster: didgeridoo, shaker /

Abel Domingues: samples/beats

Hangzhou Blues

I have waited a long time for an opportunity to experiment with electrifying the pipa. On this track, inspired by Jimi Hendrix, I played the pipa through a wah wah pedal which Abel showed me how to use. HangZhou is my hometown. I dream about it all the time.

©2003 Wu Man (ASCAP) & Abel Domingues (ASCAP)

Wu Man: electric pipa / Stewart Dempster: ocarina /

Abel Domingues: samples/beats

Vincent’s Tune

Based on a little song my son Vincent sings often at home.

When I asked him where he heard the tune, he said \I don't know,

I made it up, really, Mommy".

©2003 Wu Man (ASCAP)

Wu Man: pipas / Vincent Wang: toy piano, singing / Stewart Dempster: didgeridoo, bicycle horn / Abel Domingues: samples/beats



£6.99
Image SHENG: China Dreams / Nanking Nanking
£7.99
Image CHINA Chen Jun: Erhu Classics
With undeniable virtuosity and skill, Chen Jun is one of the virtuoso erhu players in China. So dazzling is his grasp of the string instrument as significant to Chinese music as the violin is to Western classical, Chen's nickname is \The Paganini of the Erhu."



Erhu Classics is the Jiangsu native's debut CD recorded in 1997 (released in Asia only on the Marco Polo label). Full of evocative, impressionistic performances of Chinese folk classics and one Chen Jun original, this beautiful and highly melodic collection is astonishing due to Chen's stunning technical ability and passionate performances. Featuring the accompaniment of the Central Virtuosi conducted by Yang Chun-Li, it's a tremendous showcase for the young Chinese new star.



Easily one of the leading erhu players in China, Chen has won many competitions at home. Born in 1968, he first began studying the erhu with his father Chen Yao-Xing, another erhu master, when he was four. He went on to study erhu and Compositional Theory at the China Central Conservatory, China Social Music Academy and the Military Arts Academy. In 1982, he was second runner-up in the National Youth Instrumental Competition and first runner-up in the Beijing Youth Erhu Competition the following year. In 1989, he won first prize in the First "Shanshen Prize" Folk Music Instrumental Competition.



Having performed numerous times already as a soloist frequently in China and overseas, his playing is characterized by pure elegant tones, a mastery of technique and a unique power of interpretation. Besides performing traditional works, Chen also composes and plays new erhu compositions. The boyish-looking musician is also a member of the China Musicians Association and the erhu representative in the Chinese Music Association. Recently he was even cast in a major Chinese motion picture as a musician. Can movie stardom be far behind?



What differentiates Chen from traditional Chinese folk musicians is his passion for western classical music as well. As a result, he has developed a more individualized style and tone, and that multifaceted personality is displayed on Erhu Classics. From very traditional melodies like Shandong folk songs, 'River Waters' and 'Yizhihua' to the compositions of legendary Chinese composer, Liu Tian-hua, like 'Shaking Red Candle Flame' and 'Moonlight', Chen expertly interprets both with equal aplomb. Also, his lighting quick dexterity is revealed on frolicking pieces like 'Horse Racing' and 'Galloping War Horses'. There is even some Arabic influence in the Tajik influenced 'Sunshine On Tashkurgan'.



Chen's stellar performances are also the perfect introduction for non-Chinese music listeners to the tender and expressive tones of the erhu. With an almost human voice like vulnerability and range, the erhu is distinguished physically by its thin fret neck without a fingerboard which gives the performer greater freedom when performing vibrato. The body is lined using snakeskin from the belly to give it its unique timbre.



Chen Jun's own instrument is a particularly special biantong erhu made in the Suzhou Traditional Musical Workshop in October 1970. Besides a beautiful outward appearance and delicate workmanship, it provides a sonorous and penetrating sound other erhus cannot match.



For Chinese erhu music, Chen Jun's debut on Naxos World is an unmatched showcase. Yes, Erhu Classics is indeed an instant classic.

"

£6.99
Image CHINA Hok-Man Yim: Poems of Thunder


Yim Hok-Man is a true master percussionist. Respected throughout the East Asia continent, he started drumming when he was just ten years old. Besides refining his drum technique and skill in Chinese music, Mr. Yim further emphasized his standing by studying and becoming an accomplished percussionist in Western music too. Performing in various ensembles through his career, Yim has proved himself internationally as a drum expert.



But the Chinese music of his homeland remains his specialty. With his powerful recording Poems Of Thunder, Yim now aims to introduce the world to percussion sounds integral to Chinese folk music. From Beijing Opera to Cantonese tunes, to folk melodies of South Jiangsu province and the Zhoushan Islands, to the contemporary compositions of modern composer, Yim gives us a cross section of Chinese music as it was meant to be heard - as stunning, dramatic music that demand a listener's attention.



Recorded inside the China Central Television Studios of Beijing using the latest studio technology, Yim has produced an extraordinary record of exceptional performances, capable of delicate and whimsical subtleties one minute and rhythmically powerful dynamics the next. Backed by the Central Virtuosi conducted by Xia Fei-Yun, Poems Of Thunders' range of percussive sounds is a revelation and a stellar introduction for western audiences.



At fourteen, Yim was already studying with China's Central Philharmonic and stayed as a member of the orchestra for twenty years. Over his career, he has performed with some of the most renowned ensembles of the region as a soloist. In 1984, Yim joined the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra as the Percussion Principal and has toured with them through China, South Korea, Canada, Taiwan and the United States. Currently, he is also an instructor at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts.



Poems Of Thunder is Yim's first recording in years, and demonstrates his commitment to performing music with progressive integrity. There is the sprite and humourus tone of the opening modernist composition, 'Poem Of Chinese Drum' - by Li Zhen-Gui and Tan Dun. But the record is even more fond of presenting the Sino-regional charm in works like 'The Golden Peasant Flying Out Of The Mountain' (folk music of the Tujia tribe) and 'Big Gun Shooting Towards The Sky' (folk gong and drum music in Sichuan province). Through it all is Yim's distinctive and dexterous drumming.



With the debut of his astonishing Poems Of Thunder - available at Naxos World's very affordable budget price no less - Yim is set to bring all the beauty and power inherent in Chinese music from the mainland out to the world stage.



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