Gu Guanren: Spring Suite; Singapore Glimpses Suite; Erhu Concerto "Gazing at the Moon"; Variations for the Pipa

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The Marco Polo label's small Chinese Composers series, now under the logical aegis of Hong Kong-based Naxos, highlights a repertory that's seemingly sure to grow in importance in coming years. What made the ensemble music that emerged from the era of hardcore Communism in China so na?vely interesting was that such pieces as the collectively composed "Yellow River Cantata" and the related "Yellow River Concerto" were, just as Communism itself was a product of the tradition of Western idealism, so thoroughly imbued with Western ways of musical thinking. Since then Chinese concert music has gradually changed, and with the music of Tan Dun it has notched the first of what ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The Marco Polo label's small Chinese Composers series, now under the logical aegis of Hong Kong-based Naxos, highlights a repertory that's seemingly sure to grow in importance in coming years. What made the ensemble music that emerged from the era of hardcore Communism in China so naïvely interesting was that such pieces as the collectively composed "Yellow River Cantata" and the related "Yellow River Concerto" were, just as Communism itself was a product of the tradition of Western idealism, so thoroughly imbued with Western ways of musical thinking. Since then Chinese concert music has gradually changed, and with the music of Tan Dun it has notched the first of what presumably will be many international successes. The music of Gu Guanren recorded here occupies an intermediate stage between the Chinese version of socialist realism and the new diversity of Chinese music. Gu's career began in the 1950s, placing the origins of his musical thought in the realm of Maoist ideology, and the music heard here dates from between 1979 and 1989; it is hard to tell from the attache biography whether or not the composer flourished during the Cultural Revolution. The opening "Spring Suite" has the cheery programmatic quality that insists so hard on being nonpolitical that you immediately realize what a purely political creation it is, and it puts one in mind of what might have happened if Gilbert and Sullivan had hung on long enough to parody the craze for things Chinese. But Gu is a master of orchestration and of the treatment of instruments in general. The "Variations for pipa" will be of interest to lutenists of all kinds, and perhaps the most compelling piece of the group is the "Erhu Concerto, Gazing at the Moon," of 1988, with its beautifully subtle ways of bringing the very quiet erhu a two-stringed bowed chordophone to the fore. The final "Singapore Glimpses Suite" 1989 approaches the kaleidoscopic quality of Tan Dun's music in its mixture of ethnic materials from that multicultural city-state. The Shanghai Chinese Orchestra, a large ensemble of traditional Chinese instruments that can emulate anything from a regional Chinese style to a Western symphony orchestra, is an intriguing phenomenon in itself. The music here is never less than fun, and it's especially recommended to anyone concerned with the programming of cross-cultural musical events.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/19/1996
  • Label: Marco Polo
  • UPC: 730099395120
  • Catalog Number: 8223951

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–5 Spring Suite for orchestra - Guanren Gu & Shanghai Chinese Folk Orchestra (20:38)
    Composed byGuanren Gu
    Conducted byGuanren Gu
    Performed byShanghai Chinese Folk Orchestra, Guanren Gu
    1. 1Azalea Blooming
    2. 2Fine Horses Galloping
    3. 3Early Spring in the Miao Mountains
    4. 4Green Fields in the River Country
    5. 5Grand Festival by the Tianshan Mountains
  2. 6 Erhu Concerto "Gazing at the Moon" - Guanren Gu & Shanghai Chinese Folk Orchestra (16:30)
    Composed byGuanren Gu
    Conducted byGuanren Gu
    Performed byShanghai Chinese Folk Orchestra, Guanren Gu
  3. 7 Variations for the Pipa - Guanren Gu & Shanghai Chinese Folk Orchestra (5:22)
    Composed byGuanren Gu
    Conducted byGuanren Gu
    Performed byShanghai Chinese Folk Orchestra, Guanren Gu
  4. 8 Torrent quintet - Guanren Gu & Shanghai Chinese Folk Orchestra (6:09)
    Composed byGuanren Gu
    Conducted byGuanren Gu
    Performed byShanghai Chinese Folk Orchestra, Guanren Gu
  5. 9–12 Singapore Glimpses Suite for orchestra - Guanren Gu & Shanghai Chinese Folk Orchestra (18:17)
    Composed byGuanren Gu
    Conducted byGuanren Gu
    Performed byShanghai Chinese Folk Orchestra, Guanren Gu
    1. 9Bird's Eye-View
    2. 10Kreta Ayer
    3. 11Sea Shore
    4. 12Festival
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Guanren Gu Primary Artist
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