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|Hubei Song & Dance Ensemble|
Imperial Bells of China
Genres: World Music, New Age, Pop
In the summer of 1978, archaeologists discovered a 2,400 year old tomb in China's central Hubei Province. Among nearly 10,000 other relics, it contained a vast array of musical instruments. A fully intact set of 64 bianzho... more »
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In the summer of 1978, archaeologists discovered a 2,400 year old tomb in China's central Hubei Province. Among nearly 10,000 other relics, it contained a vast array of musical instruments. A fully intact set of 64 bianzhong-chime bells was the most prominent of the musical treasures. The ancient bells were delicately inlaid in gold with intricate dragons and inscriptions documenting a surprisingly sophisticated music theory for ancient orchestras over 2,000 years ago. These amazing findings ultimately inspired The Imperial Bells of China, a unique program of music and song revolving around the bianzhong-chime bells, created and performed by the Hubei Song and Dance Ensemble.A seventeen-city tour of North America in the spring of 1989 marked the first time these instruments were heard by audiences outside of Asia. For those who missed this historic event and for those in the audience who did not get enough of this celestial music, the magic of The Imperial Bells of China is now available. Captured in concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the recording catapults the listener back in time to a world filled with lyrical Chinese songs, ancient flutes and pan-pipes, and the scintillating, effervescent sounds of the bells themselves. Love songs and legends taken from two of the oldest collections of Chinese poetry combine with the traditional folk music from the Hubei Province, and the delicate sounds of Chinese classical music to create a vivid, richly varied experience of this ancient and colorful culture.
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Reviewed on 8/24/2006...
This unique album by a prominent musical troupe from the People's Republic of China is based around reproductions of bianzhong-chime bells discovered in 1978 in a 2,400-year-old tomb in Hubei province, China. Recorded live at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, during a 1989 U.S. tour, the celestial sounds of the bells mix with flutes and other Chinese instruments in a program of lyrical songs, folk and classical Chinese music. This unique album takes the listener back in time to glimpse the richness of this ancient culture. ~ Backroads Music/Heartbeats, All Music Guide