About this Recording
82003 - Wild Geese on the Sandbank: Sanxian and Ruan Solos
English 

Pu Monastery Chant
Ancient Melody
arr. Chen Da-wei
Pu Monastery Chan is an arrangement of a piece for guqin (Chinese plucked zither) of the same title, depicting the solemn chant of the temple.

Wild Geese on the Sandbank
Ancient Melody
arr. Zhang Nian-bing
Wild Geese on the Sandbank is originally a piece for guqin, rearranged for the sanxian (three-string Chinese lute). It depicts in musical terms the stillness of the water in autumn and the flight of wild geese migrating to a warmer climate.

Romance under Moonlight
Zhang Nian-bing
The lower register of the sanxian gives a lyrical quality to Romance under Moonlight, as young lovers at the borders of China in the far South West meet by moonlight.

Camel Bells of the Silk Road
Ning Yong
arr. Zhang Nian-bing
Camel Bells of the Silk Road was originally designed for the daruan (Chinese long-necked lute) but is now performed on the sanxian. It is derived from a folk-song of the western province of Xinjiang. The composer shows here a distant caravan of merchants, with their camels. For a while they stop and relax in dance, before proceeding with their journey, disappearing into the distance.

Night Thoughts
Yan Pei-xian
An island glows green in faint moonlight, and here the composer sees the journey of life, with all its trials and tribulations: sometimes the moon is hidden by cloud, but peace can only be found by striving to break through the mist that hides reality.

Deep in the Dead Hours of Night
Kun Qu
Deep in the Dead Hours of Night is taken from four verses of Lotus Leaves in the Wind, from the Beijing (Peking) opera, Thinking of Worldly Pleasures, its present form the result of operatic developments over the years.

The Moon over Guanshan
Ancient Melody
arr. Zhang Nian-bing
The Moon over Guanshan is derived from a Han Dynasty collection of songs and poems. The text of the song tells of the hardships endured by frontier soldiers of the times, matched by a robust and natural melody.

Night by the Lake
Qin Wen-chen
Qin Wen-chen wrote Night by the Lake under the inspiration of the poem Night at the Maple Bridge by Zhang Ji. The gentle sound of the zhongruan (middle-sized long-necked Chinese lute) shows a hazy moonlit night by the lakeside. Towards the end of the piece the gong represents the sound of the midnight bell of the Hanshan Temple outside the town of Gusu, a symbol of the composer's own feeling of melancholy.

Sanxian
The sanxian, the Chinese long-necked lute, is a three-string plucked instrument with a skin membrane stretched over a resonator. Owing to its distinctive acoustical properties, rich, full tonal quality, great volume and wide range, the sanxian is widely used for accompaniment, orchestral and solo performance. The instrument appears in three sizes, large, medium and small; the first used principally to accompany epic singing and the last to accompany narrative singing and dramatic performance.

Zhongruan
Zhongruan, the medium-sized ruan, is a short-necked Chinese lute with four strings, played with a plectrum or false nails. It has a round sound-box and twelve frets and appears in different sizes and with different ranges, with as many as 24 frets.


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