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China: Music of the Pipa

News & Reviews

  • Independent (UK): Nonesuch Explorer Series Reissue "Wonderful to Hear Once More"

    The reissue of the groundbreaking Nonesuch Explorer Series titles from Japan is now complete, with the recent addition of two more titles. The Independent exclaims, "It's wonderful that Nonesuch is reissuing the 92-LP Explorer Series, which put ethnomusicology on the map in the Seventies," and says of the recently reissued Koto Classics: "[I]t's wonderful to hear once more koto master Shinichi Yuize in his prime ... and these classic pieces display [the koto's] suggestive power to the full."

  • Scotsman: Return of Explorer Series "Simply Wonderful"

    "Never again will a record company essay what the producers of the Nonesuch Explorers did in 1967, bringing out a series of superb field recordings to make, eventually, a 92-record set," says The Scotsman in its five-star review of the two titles that marked the reissue of a number of Japanese Explorer Series albums on CD this fall: Koto Classics and Geza Music from the Kabuki. "The vinyl LPs ... brought to light a wealth of hitherto hidden traditions," says the review, and their return as remastered CDs "is simply wonderful, because much of this music—four decades on—is now either extinct or grievously debased."

About this Album

The pipa, the four-stringed, fretted Chinese lute, was introduced to Asia from the Middle East in the sixth century. Here, virtuoso Lui Pui-yuen performs both traditional and, reflecting the recent revival of the instrument, more contemporary compositions and arrangements. The pieces featured on the album range from the contemplative and lyrical to the heroic and martial.


Lui Pui-yuen, pipa

Produced by David Lewiston
Recorded September 1979 by David Lewiston
Mastering by Robert C. Ludwig

All songs traditional, except track 7 by Wang Huiran

Art direction and design: John William Costa
Cover photograph: Bruno Barbey / Magnum

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