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Charlie Cawood
Songlines, March 2020

While the majority of the recordings are between one and two minutes in length, some unfold more gradually. This is especially evident on the album’s highlight, ‘The Lover’, in which Daur singer Meng Manrong weaves a tragic tale of lost love across four minutes. While the songs never veer from traditional Chinese pentatonic melodicism, there is much diversity in the vocal delivery between the differing tribes. From soaring, wide vibratos (‘Vast Grasslands’, performed by Gu Li Ge) to intimate lullabies and melancholy ruminations (‘In Retrospect’, performed by Nei Shumei), there is a wealth of emotional nuance on display. For added context, the CD comes with a booklet of extensive historical and anthropological notes, as well as lyrical outlines for each song. © 2020 Songlines



new-classics.co.uk, December 2019

CHINA Folk Music of China, Vol. 1: Folk Songs of Qinghai and Gansu NXW76088-2
CHINA Folk Music of China, Vol. 2: Folk Songs of Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang NXW76089-2

This first volume in an exciting new series from Naxos explores China’s rich and diverse musical heritage. The songs 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 Chinese traditional visual arts, the song titles explain their mood and origin. The five minority ethnic groups that perform on this album mainly live in seven autonomous counties under the administration of the Gansu and Qinghai Provinces in north-western China. The music on here takes several different forms, including chants, ballads and dance tunes.

FOLK MUSIC OF CHINA, VOL. 2 (NAXOS WORLD NXW76089-2) further explores China’s rich and diverse musical heritage. This second volume in the Naxos series features recordings of folk songs from five minority ethnic groups of Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang Mongol, Daur, Oroqen, Evenki and Hezhen. As with Chinese traditional visual arts, song titles such as the majestic ‘Vast Grasslands’, the plaintive ‘Fishing Song (Missing My Lover Boy)’, ‘My Dear Horse’ and the lovely ‘Green Oasis’ explain their mood and origin. © 2019 new-classics.co.uk Read complete article



Jem Condliffe
Review Corner, November 2019

This is part of Naxos’s newly-launched world music catalogue, and it’s more interesting than some of the modern rock/pop releases we listen to…

The songs featured are the folk songs of five minority ethnic groups of Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang—Mongol, Daur, Oroqen, Evenki and Hezhen. They’re mostly one voice (or sound like one voice), and there’s no throat-singing or anything like that; this is proper singing. It’s rather beautiful, and certainly distinctive. © 2019 Review Corner Read complete review





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