The Chinese Baroque Players, in a new recording of Vivaldi's ''Four Seasons.'' Performed on traditional Chinese instruments, this audiophile recording is Arranged and Conducted by Choo Boon Chong. Chong and the ensemble allow for Vivaldi's music to speak more delicately compared with traditional instrumentation on this famous piece. The arrangement is for Erhu, Qung Wan, Di, Cello, Pipa, we believe all beautifully done by The Chinese Baroque Players for a marvelous new experience of ''The Four Season's.''
In the very early stage of preparing for this recording, Producer KK Wong, along with this ensemble took great pains to capture the essence of Vivaldi and his period. The recording was made in a country home in Tai Po, China. The space, with its open windows made for a superior production, one that is up to the standards of the Master's Match Audiophile Series.
A unique interpretation of Vivaldi's Four Seasons performed on traditional Chinese instruments. ''A rare one-of-a-kind recording of Vivaldi's timeless masterpiece. A magnificent audio treat, both for its brilliant fidelity and the intensity of the performance by the band hailed in China as one of the finest interpretive groups in Baroque music.''
KK Wong and the Chinese Baroque Players made two artistic decisions which they believed would realistically capture the essence of the Vivaldi piece and period while at the same time be more demanding on the musicians.
First, ''volta prima'' the band was to be challenged by no second takes, what they ''got'' the first time is what went on the record. No room for error. ''We wanted this recording, despite its differing moods, to share a common feeling of enthusiastic enjoyment, of artists taking delight in their craft and Vivaldi's magical composition'' said KK Wong.
Second, ''vivus'' (to be alive) the recording was made away from the studio and its modern technical surroundings and being true to this state-of-the-art minimalism only two microphones and one 2-track analog Studer recorder was utilized. KK selected a verdant country setting at a beautiful home in Tai Po which he believes is one of the finest acoustic sites for a small group performance. The group set up in the open space of this magnificent drawing room with open windows and this improvisational element fed the recording with the truth of nature and its seasons. This choice indeed proved to add verve and gusto to the performance and the recording, not to mention the occasional 21st Century interference, (which hopefully the listener will delight in discovering on his or her own).
The young woman who leads the Chinese Baroque Players is Erhu player Hsin Hsiao-Hung. If you have ever seen a performance on the Erhu you've noticed that it looks like a ladle with a long handle without frets, fitted with two strings and a bow inserted between them. Its range spans about three octaves and has some of the qualities of the violin but with a more nasal tone. Exhibit Records plans to release another album in the future featuring Hsin Hsiao-Hung as a soloist.
Please give The Chinese Baroque Players a listen.
Antonio Vivaldi (1678 - 1741)
Produced & Recorded by K.K. Wong
Arranged & Conducted by Choo Boon Chong
Chinese Baroque Players:
Er Hu (two string violin) - Hsin Hsiao Hung
Ruan (guitar) - Dao Hsao Ming
Dizi (bamboo flute) - Tan Bao Shih
Ge Hu (cello) -Tang Kin Seng
Pi Pa (fretted lute) - Wang Ching
Yang Qin (dulcimer/harpsichord) - Li Tak Kong
Master's Match CD, 180g Virgin Vinyl Disc, Frameable Original Art
1. Allegro 3:31
2. Largo 2:45
3. Allegro 5:08
4. Allegro non molto 7:46
5. Adagio 2:46
6. Presto 4:11
7. Allegro 6:14
8. Adagio molto 3:37
9. Allegro 4:00
10. Allegro non molto 5:21
11. Largo 2:09
12. Allegro 3:46