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Acoustic World: China

Acoustic World: China



This fascinating disc from China is the second release in the Acoustic World series and presents classical repertoire led by four exponents of different traditions: Lin Youren, Wu Man, Li Jinwen, and Xuan Ke.

Wu Man, the internationally renowned pipa virtuoso, is arguably Chinese classical music’s most famous artist. Now resident in New York she is as active in contemporary music as in the traditional repertoire, pushing the boundaries of Chinese music. Three exquisite pieces from her ensemble appear on this disc.

Master of the qin zither, Lin Youren resists forced modernisation, and gives us a tantalising glimpse into the past.  But, in the best traditions of music cross-fertilisation, he gives us a gentle nod to English football fans in his Improvisation for Michael Owen – a piece inspired by the singing in the pub where he was himself watching England play Argentina in the 1998 World Cup!

Xuan Ke and the Dayan Ancient Music Association play music derived from old ritual music festivals by Dongjing religious Associations. They play some instruments not found anywhere else – the reedpipe bobo and the plucked lute suguda.

Li Jinwen leads a group of musicians playing “sheng-guan” music for wind and percussion. Sheng-guan is still popular in folk rituals today as is singing and the vocal setting of “Geese crossing over the southern mansion” is one of the highlights of this compilation.

Wu Man
Lin Youren
Li Jinwen
Xuan Ke and the Dayan Ancient Music Association


Track Listing:

1. Nzer-tso (Dance tune): Wang Chaoxin (leizi bili) 

2. Dengjue jiaohui (Lanterns and moon competing in brilliance): Wu Man (pipa) 

3. Pingsha luoyan (Wild geese descending on the sandbank): Lin Youren (qin) 

4. Kaitan Bo (Cymbals to inaugurate the altar): Zhang Yuije (gu), Zhang Shicai (nao), Pan Shizhong (bo), Li Jinwen (gezi), Wang Fengrui (dangzi) 

5. Xiyang xiaogu (Flute and drum at sunset): Wu Man (pipa), Tien-Juo Wang (erhu/gaohu), Yang Yì (zheng), Liu Qi-Chao (dizi/xiao/suona) 

6. Wannian hua (Eternal flowers): The Dayan Ancient Music Association 

7. Niao ton Un (Birds in the forest): Wu Man and ensemble 

8. Improvisation for Michael Owen: Lin Youren 

9. Yan guo nanlou (Geese crossing over the southern mansion) – sung: Li Jinwen (voice - sung Gongche) 

10. Yan guo nanlou (Geese crossing over the southern mansion) – played: Li Jinwen (guanzi), Wang Fengrui (sheng), Zhang Shicai (sheng), Zhang Shenglu (dizi), Pan Shizhong (yunluo), Zhang Yujie (gu) 

11. Shimian maifu (Ambush on all sides): Wu Man and ensemble 

12. Shoujing jie (Closing ode): The Dayan Ancient Music Association



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