Sung to the accompaniment of a Qin
Poems come to us as distant voices through the vast expanse of time; each line, each verse captures a mood or feeling, an intimate confession of those who lived hundreds and thousands of years ago. They are records of family, friendship, love, longing and nostalgia… and teach us, that even through the never-ending flow of centuries, that the human condition never truly changes.
The Chinese zither, called the guqin (meaning “old instrument”) also referred to as “qin”, has existed for over 3,000 years and represents China's foremost solo musical instrument tradition. Guqin playing developed as an elite art form, practiced by noblemen and scholars in intimate settings, and was therefore never intended for public performance. The guqin was one of the four arts that Chinese scholars were expected to master, along with calligraphy, painting and “go”, an ancient form of chess. According to tradition, twenty years of training were required to attain proficiency on the qin.
The singing of songs accompanied on the guqin (qin ge) was held in particularly high esteem and was seen as a vehicle for self-cultivation as well as an intimate entertainment for the Chinese literati. Generations of Chinese writers and poets expressed their most intimate ambitions and emotions in the qin ge and used their private meditations to cultivate their minds. The ancient qin ge music scores generally have one sound for each Chinese character, and the singing must follow the tradition of "recitation relying on pure sounds, revealing the beauty of the score, with deep breaths and great charm." Tradition says that this approach to qin songs dates back to Confucius himself and this practice has remained remarkably consistent up to the present.
Many of the qin ge selected by Ha Hui for this album are representative of the Chinese poetic form known as "Ci." Ci originated during the Tang dynasty as song texts that were set to existing melodies. This form reached its fullest development during the Song dynasty, but its popularity continued after that period. By the Song dynasty all the original melodies had long since been lost, ci lyrics are generally given the title of the original song from which they take their pattern. A well-known example of this would be the numerous eight-line ci said to be "Song Of Everlasting Regret".
Internationally celebrated Chinese concert artist Ha Hui, known for her "sweet, well-rounded tone," brings these ancient lyrics to life with her unique interpretations, full of feeling and reverence for Chinese civilization, perfectly conveying each mood and sentiment in fresh modern arrangements. She is joined by the outstanding young performers Zhao Xiaoxia, Yu Xiaoqing, Wang Jianan, who provide a delicately improvised accompaniment of Chinese traditional instruments on a musical travel through time. Senior master recording engineer Li Dakang has perfectly captured each nuance on this superbly recorded disc.
Close your eyes and Ha Hui's wonderful voice will transport you across the millennia to a dark night, centuries ago; a soft spring rain gently tapping at your window, a solitary candle, a cup of green tea, and this LP completes the picture of your ancient encounter.
- 180g Vinyl LP
- Gatefold jacket
- Made in EU
|Yu Xiaoqing||di and xiao bamboo flutes|
- The Beautiful Lady Yu
- Seing Off Meng Haoran For Guangling At Yellow Crane Tower
- Eighteen Songs Of A Nomad Flute
- Wild Geese Descending On The Sanbank
- Climbing To Youzhou Tower
- Delighting In Rain On A Spring Night
- To The Tune Of 'Sumu Veil' (Basil Garden)
- The Prince Recalled
- Regarding Plum Mountain
- Two Branches Of One Tree
- Everlasting Friendship