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The Music of Cambodia, Volume 2: Royal Court Music
Various Artists
The Music of Cambodia, Volume 2: Royal Court Music
Genres: Folk, World Music, Special Interest, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1

On the walls of Angkor Wat, the famous bas-reliefs show the instruments of the Khmer Imperial court of a thousand years ago: double reeds, wooden xylophones played in pairs, unusual sets of metal gongs placed in circula...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Various Artists
Title: The Music of Cambodia, Volume 2: Royal Court Music
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Celestial Harmonies
Release Date: 11/22/1993
Genres: Folk, World Music, Special Interest, Pop
Styles: Traditional Folk, Far East & Asia, By Decade, 1990s
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 013711307528

Synopsis

Album Description
On the walls of Angkor Wat, the famous bas-reliefs show the instruments of the Khmer Imperial court of a thousand years ago: double reeds, wooden xylophones played in pairs, unusual sets of metal gongs placed in circular frames, and drums. Incredibly, these instruments and much of the court music still survive today, despite the decimation of Cambodian arts and culture during the Khmer Rouge regime. This recording is the second in a three-volume series that reveals the mysteries of Cambodian music to the outside world. Following the rarely heard instruments and styles of the Angkor Wat region in the first volume, this volume of The Music of Cambodia series presents the beauty, refinement, and energy of the royal court music.Although there is no royal court in modern Cambodia, the Cambodian government has fought mightily to preserve its fragile links to the glories of the ancient Khmer Empire. The dance and music of the royal court are considered very important links, and this recording features some of the finest musicians still living in southeast Asia. In addition, The Music of Cambodia, Volume 2, includes the popular Cambodian music ensemble known as Mahori, the magical trance and possession music of the Memut, and some literally breath-taking solos for reed, wood flute, and buffalo horn.Recorded in Phnom Penh, this collection combines the authenticity of a field recording with the sonic excellence of a modern studio record. In one piece, the hazy shimmer of over-tones from the court ensemble's gong-chime instruments haunt the background of the performance, while the Cambodian oboe swirls atop a bed of precisely interlocking xylophone patterns. In another, the casting of a spell to ward off black magic is accompanied by the ever-accelerating rhythm of the trance music of the tribal Arak people. That these styles have survived is a tribute to the strength of Cambodian music.
 

CD Reviews

Quite exquisite and very refined
Kean Chhay Chang | Vic, Australia | 10/18/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Music Of Cambodia Vol. 2 Royal Court music contains some of the best recordings that I have heard so far from Cambodia. In this cd it features two of the most well known orchestras often associated with the royal court of Cambodian and is also related to the royal court of neighbouring Thailand. Pin-peat and mahori (mohori) orchestra. The pin-peat orchestra which featured in vol. 1 9 Gong Gamelan is much similar to the pin-peat orchestra featured here in volume 2. The instrumentations are the same, two bamboo or wooden xylophones, two sets of gong-chimes, one oboe, two large bass drums, horizontal barrel drum and metal clappers. In some of the tracks the music is very heavy especially with emphasis of the large bass drums in some of the tracks. In track three it is a very lively track with the xylophone, barrel drum, oboes, gong-chimes and metal clappers play this very hazy and jazzy style composition. Track six is a dance piece used to accompany the Apsara dance "Dance of the Celestial Nymphs" very beautiful and is also accompanied with female vocals. There are usually several different pieces of music that are played during a dance performance, also track seven is another dance piece called Tep-Monorom "Dance of the Heavenly Gods and Goddess for Happiness". The style is the same for track six however there is also an solo oboe performance in the piece near the end and the consulsion is very vibrant and strong especially due to the loud booming sounds made by the two large bass drums which concludes the dance. The second orchestra in this cd is the mahori orchestra, this orhcestra is much lighter in style than pin-peat. The orchestra is predominately made up of stringed instruments, wind and also percussion. The orchestra in this recording contains: roneat ek (xylophone with a high pitch), roneat thung (xylophone with a low pitch), a couple of tros (folk fiddle), takhe (three stringed wooden zither), khim (hammered dulcimer), kholy (flute or duct), skor thun (goblet drum), skor romunea (frame drum) and chhing (metal clappers) and is also accompanied with male and female vocals. The music is full of zest and drive due to the string instruments especially the takhe giving sharp and crisps notes when played as well as the mellow sounds of the folk fiddles accompanied by vocals at each strophe which can be delicate and quite light. This music can be played at any time or anywhere especially during the hot summer nights when there are cool breezes sweeping through the house of the verandah. This cd is good and contains a great deal of information about each piece however this cd is just two thirds of the box set. So I recommend that the box set, its worth it's value. I recommend this cd for anyone who wants something a little royal and exotic as well as refined."