"I dissapointed in quality of album, songs too modern, not tradition enough. For real fan of chinese classical, sound not enough Chinese!!! Much song too westernized. You should like to try album of the title "Rain Dropping On The Banana Tree". It has the old songs actually record in old time, not much western influence, is more traditional opera and chamber music. Earliest date for song recorded on that album is 1903!!!!..."
SableCrane | Seattle, WA | 01/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a truly beautiful work. I've bought some CDs at the local record store and was very disappointed before I wised up and started looking through the reviews here at Amazon for some better material. This looks not like a Western collection, but like an actual Chinese CD. The liner notes have a rather melancholy feel to them, and this is reflected in some of the music showcased here -- piece number 4, Parting and Yang Guan, is particularly moving. The instruments evoke deep emotions; one in particular (I don't know what it is called, but it sounds like a violin) literally does not "play" but rather "sings" these sweet, expressive, minor-keyed melodies. The haunting voice of this instrument weaves itself all throughout the pieces, narrating stories that are foreign and yet very, very real to a western listener. This collection really deserve the title "Masterpieces". I only wish I knew where to find other works of this high quality."
Frequency and Dynamic Range
An Eclecticist | Taylors, SC USA | 05/12/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you prefer easy listening music or music with a minimum of high and low pitches and a minimum of loud and soft passages, much like music played in lounges, this album should please you. If you like Beethoven symphonies or Mingus jazz you would probably be happier with these albums: "Phases of the Moon"(full orchestra), "Classical Chinese Folk Music" or even "Music from the People's Republic"."
Best of Genre
joseph p mcconkey | Bellingham, WA USA | 08/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is everything you could hope to find in an example of traditional Chinese music. It soothes, exites, and stirs the imagination. Buy this one first."
The way Chinese ensemble should be played
anon | 06/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Except for the insertion of the cello which is obviously not a chinese trad instrument, the ensemble plays all pieces masterfully. Even with the cello the emotion of these chinese masterpieces are most beautifully performed on this cd. The sound quality is superb. I feel nauseated when listen to mixmatched traditional instruments with modern big sound westernized electrically special effected symphonized performance. There's places for improvisation and places for masterpieces. For oriental musics, art is a (only) way to express mood and emotion (culturally those people don't express their feelings in any other way). When listen to these musics I would suggest the listener let their feeling go with the music. Better yet if the story behind the music is understood. This is another aspect of the beauty of this cd, you could even feel the whole ensemble move as one unified sound from serene to excitement to lamentation to joy to sorrow to nostalgic to strength. Yet, true to its oriental tradition, each individual instrument clearly expresses its own beauty in each piece. It is not lounge music. It is not symphonic music. It is traditional chinese masterpiece.
ps. imagine people in asia would say the same thing about western symphonic music: that they are for elevator, oh no, elevator is not that popular in those poor third world countries so, they are for sleepy time :)"