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Music : Min Hui Fen - Er-Hu Classic (2002, Starlight # DDD-31134) [HDCD]

Min Hui Fen - Er-Hu Classic
Min Hui Fen / China Central Orchestra
EAC+LOG+CUE | FLAC: 274 MB | Full Artwork: 243 MB | 5% Recovery Info
Label/Cat#: Starlight Music International # DDD-31134 | Country/Year: Europe 2002
Genre: Classical, world | Style: Chinese Classical, Er-Hu

""The erhu is a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, more specifically a spike fiddle, which may also be called a "southern fiddle", and sometimes known in the Western world as the "Chinese violin" or a "Chinese two-stringed fiddle". It is used as a solo instrument as well as in small ensembles and large orchestras. It is the most popular of the huqin family of traditional bowed string instruments used by various ethnic groups of China. A very versatile instrument, the erhu is used in both traditional and contemporary music arrangements, such as in pop, rock, jazz, etc.""


1|Moon's Refelction On Er Quan|6:00
2|Nocturnal PEace|4:38
3|Sorrow Of River Water|7:04
4|Song Of Birds In A Desolate Mountain|3:35
5|Listening To The Pines|3:50
6|Groaning In Sickness|6:39
7|Towards A Bright Future|4:44
8|Deep Dark Night|5:11
9|A Moonlit River On A Night In Spring|12:11

Min Hui-fen is one of the most revered erhu masters in the world. She has won numerous awards, including the top prize in "The Shanghai Spring" Fourth National Erhu Competition1in 1963; the title of "Best Cultural Artist of China" in 1989; and the "Bao Gang Elegant Artist Award" in 1994.

Min has performed in many countries and regions, including the United States, France, Canada, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. In 1977, her performance of the Chinese folk piece Wailing Waters, the basis of the concerto that Mrs. Min will perform in East Meets West 2003, brought tears to the conductor Seiji Ozawa, who commented that Min Hui-fen's performance so successfully portrayed the pain and suffering of mankind that it allowed the audience to share its intense sorrow. The chief critic of the Boston Symphony Orchestra lauded Min Hui-fen as "one of the best string performers in the world."

Min's performance style is often rich in passion, touching yet not overpowering, exaggerating yet controlled, plaintive but not injured. She successfully combines her emotional momentum with the romantic charm of each recital piece.

"The erhu is a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, more specifically a spike fiddle, which may also be called a "southern fiddle", and sometimes known in the Western world as the "Chinese violin" or a "Chinese two-stringed fiddle". It is used as a solo instrument as well as in small ensembles and large orchestras. It is the most popular of the huqin family of traditional bowed string instruments used by various ethnic groups of China. A very versatile instrument, the erhu is used in both traditional and contemporary music arrangements, such as in pop, rock, jazz, etc.

A notable composer for the erhu was Liu Tianhua (??天华/劉天華; Liú Tiānhuá; 1895-1932), a Chinese musician who also studied Western music. He composed 47 exercises and 10 solo pieces (1918-32) which were central to the development of the erhu as a solo instrument. His works for the instrument include Yue Ye (?夜; Yuè yè, Moon Night) and Zhu ying Yao hong (烛影摇红; Zhú yǐng yáo hóng, Shadows of Candles Flickering Red).
A blind street performer playing in Jingzhou, Hubei, China.

Other solo pieces include Er Quan Ying Yue (1950, Moon Reflected on Second Spring) by A Bing, Sai Ma (Horse Race) by Huang Haihuai, Henan Xiaoqu (Henan folk tune) by Liu Mingyuan, and Sanmenxia Changxiangqu (1961, Sanmen Gorge Capriccio) by Liu Wenjin. Most solo works are commonly performed with yangqin accompaniment, although pieces such as the ten solos by Liu Tianhua and Er Quan Ying Yue originally did not have accompaniment.

In addition to the solo repertoire, the erhu is one of the main instruments in regional music ensembles such as Jiangnan sizhu, Chinese opera ensembles, and the modern large Chinese orchestra.

The erhu is used in the music of the Cirque du Soleil show O and in solo performances in select Shen Yun tours. Even fusion progressive rock groups like The Hsu-nami have incorporated the erhu into their music and it is their lead instrument. It is incorporated in the Taiwanese black metal band ChthoniC and used in the song "Field Below" by Regina Spektor.

An erhu instrumental album about the Along the River During the Qingming Festival (清?上河图; Qīngmíng Shànghé Tú) was performed by erhu artist Song Fei (宋飞; Song Fei) to express the painting drawn in the Song Dynasty by Zhang Zeduan (张择端; Zhang Zeduan). It was performed with the erhu, jinghu, banhu, gaohu, etc., to show the Livelihood, Trade, Festival[clarification needed] of the Song Dynasty; the album contains 18 parts. The album represented the greatest achievement of Chinese classical music and it made the China's modern national landmark music works.[citation needed]

More recently, the erhu has appeared in several soundtracks, featuring prominently in the soundtracks for the TV series Earth: Final Conflict (played by George Gao) and the massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria (played by Jiebing Chen). An erhu solo is featured in several cues related to Vulcans from 2009's Star Trek soundtrack by Michael Giacchino.

Musical groups for wedding celebrations in Cambodia often use erhu.

An erhu is listed in the credits for the Doug Anthony All Stars album Icon as being played by Paul McDermott.

Prior to the 20th century, most huqin instruments were used primarily to accompany various forms of Chinese opera and narrative. The use of the erhu as a solo instrument began in the early 20th century along with the development of guoyue (literally "national music"), a modernized form of Chinese traditional music written or adapted for the professional concert stage. Active in the early 20th century were Zhou Shaomei (周少梅; 1885-1938) and Liu Tianhua (??天华; 1895-1932). Liu laid the foundations of modern erhu playing with his ten unaccompanied solos and 47 studies composed in the 1920s and 1930s. Liu Beimao (??北茂; 1903-1981) was born in Jiangyin, Jiangsu. His compositions include Xiao hua gu (1943) (Little flower drum). Jiang Fengzhi (蔣风之; 1908-1986) and Chen Zhenduo (?振铎) were students of Liu Tianhua, the piece Hangong Qiuyue (Autumn Moon Han Palace) was adapted and arranged by Jiang. Hua Yanjun (A Bing) (华彥君-?炳, c. 1893-1950) was a blind street musician. Shortly before his death in 1950, two Chinese musicologists recorded him playing a few erhu and pipa solo pieces, the best-known being Erquan Yingyue.

With the founding of the People's Republic of China and the expansion of the conservatory system, the solo erhu tradition continued to develop. Important performers during this time include Lu Xiutang (陆修堂; 1911-1966), Zhang Rui (张锐; born 1920), Sun Wenming (孙文?; 1928-1962), Huang Haihuai (黄海怀), Liu Mingyuan (???源; 1931-1996), Tang Liangde (汤良德; 1938-2010), Zhang Shao (张韶) and Song Guosheng (宋国生).

Liu Mingyuan (???源; 1931-1996) was born in Tianjin. He was known for his virtuosity on many instruments of the huqin family, in particular the banhu. His compositions and arrangements include Henan Xiaoqu (Henan folk tune) and Cao Yuan Shang (On Grassland) for zhonghu. For many years, he taught at the China Conservatory of Music in Beijing.

Tang Liangde (Tong Leung Tak; 汤良德; 1938-2010) was born in Shanghai into a famous Shanghainese musical family. He won the "Shanghai's Spring" erhu competition and continued to be the soloist for the Chinese Film Orchestra in Beijing, his composition and solos can be heard throughout the Nixon to China documentary movie. Tang was the soloist and performed at the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, then went onto music broadcasting and education for the Hong Kong Government's Music Office making worldwide tours and was named Art Educator of the Year in 1991 by the Hong Kong Artist Guild.

Wang Guotong (王国潼; born 1939) was born in Dalian, Liaoning. He studied with Jiang Fengzhi, Lan Yusong and Chen Zhenduo and, in 1960, graduated from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. He performed the premiere of Sanmenxia Changxiangqu (Sanmen Gorge Rhapsody) composed by Liu Wenjin. In 1972, Wang became the erhu soloist and later art director of the China Broadcasting Traditional Orchestra. He returned to the Central Conservatory of Music in 1983 as head of the Chinese music department. He has written many books and articles on erhu playing and has performed in many countries. Wang also worked with the Beijing National Instruments Factory to further develop erhu design.

Min Huifen (閔惠芬; 1945-2014) was born in Yixing, Jiangsu. Min first became known as the winner of the 1964 fourth Shanghai Spring national erhu competition. She studied with Lu Xiutang and Wang Yi, and graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 1968, and became the erhu soloist with the Shanghai minzu yuetuan (Shanghai Folk Orchestra).

Yang Ying (杨英; born 1959) was the featured soloist for the Chinese National Song and Dance Ensemble (中央歌?团) of Beijing from 1978-1996. She was a national erhu champion, frequently recorded for the Chinese film and record industry, and is listed in famous persons of China.

The erhu is featured along with other traditional Chinese instruments such as the pipa in the contemporary Chinese instrumental music group Twelve Girls Band. They perform traditional Chinese music as well as Western classical and popular music.

A few groups have used the erhu in a rock context. As of 2012, the Taiwanese black metal band Chthonic remain the only black metal band to use the erhu. The New Jersey-based progressive rock band The Hsu-nami plays a variety of rock sub-styles including metal, psychedelic, prog rock, and funk. An amplified erhu takes the place of lead vocals. Chie Mukai of the Japanese improv unit Ché-SHIZU also plays the erhu.

Another group which falls more under Electronica/Drum & Bass is a musical duo from Parkdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The group, known as USS or Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker, uses an erhu in a different context. The USS sound is a mixture of drum and bass beats, grunge-like guitar riffs and two-step rhythms. The erhu is notable in its apperarances on their two released CDs, "Wielding the C" and "Questamation".

Toronto physician and composer Dr. Ian Pun (?彥衡; born 1965) uses erhu combined with a funk guitar musical riff in the 2011 song "加油, 加油, 加油!" performed by York University musicians Amely Zhou and Jaro Dabrowski. ~wikipedia"


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