Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Forest on Fire / Princess Hundred Flowers
Genres: World Music, Pop, Classical
Better recording please
R. Chiang | San Francisco, USA | 11/30/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In European opera it is difficult to imagine the full scope of a piece from the music alone. In Chinese opera this is even more so because the performers must combine physical feats along with the singing. Acrobatics, martial arts, weaponry, dance, acting, singing and even slight of hand are integrated into the story. And in most Chinese art creative interpretation is usually discouraged and robotic mimicry is prized. Actors in the opera must not only be able to sing and do all else but they must also perform exactly the same way as their predecessors. So hearing the music alone allows only a fraction of the experience that opera fans enjoy in the theater. But it is worthwhile.
I recall hearing a few treasured lp albums of The Forest on Fire and Princess Hundred Flowers--such richness in the gonging, sonorous falsettos, and contrepuntal baritones. These qualities have gone missing in this CD. Compared to the old lps the instruments sound tinny (reinforcing negative prejudices against Chinese music) and the voices out of breath (inexplicable). It is hard to tell from listening to the CD if the fault lay with the recording process or with the performance. For the sake of the art I hope it is the former. Until a better quality recording comes along this one is better than none."