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City Rhapsody


City Rhapsody

Guo YaZhi

?City Rhapsody?

M086A: Dark Violet colored AQ(Analog Quality) CD in high quality digipak.

Listen to track #2:
"Birds Pay Tribute to the Phoenix"

An Original DSD 5.6 mHz MA Recording, June, 2010, Hong Adventist College Church

This 2nd album on MA by Chinese multi wind instrument virtuoso Guo YaZhi: ?City Rhapsody? is yet another astounding musical statement by this forward thinking contemporary Chinese musician. While I am always at a loss for words to describe this type of music, I always find myself in awe when given the chance to work with Guo, who by the way, is one the most selfless and generous people I have ever met. It is obvious to me that Guo can handle just about anything. He is always up to the challenge with his amazing, acrobatic playing technique. Guo?s ?arsenal? of instruments includes the ?Suona? (Chinese oboe), GuanZi (another double reed wind instrument, sometimes called the ?sad oboe?), soprano saxophone, "Xun" (Chinese ocarinas) and even a fresh green leaf with which he can play simple melodies.

The music on ?City Rhapsody? while certainly rhapsodic in quality, may not readily evoke imagery of the big city. Track one, ?Foreign Marriage? startles the unprepared listener with the same type of deafening drum beat one can experience on Guo?s first recording for MA, ?Sorrow of the River? (M074A). The piece juxtaposes the two musical cultures of China and Scotland of all places, and midway thru the track, bagpipes and Scottish snare-drum are introduced!

The next five works are much more classical in style, with Guo accompanied on piano.

These include:

2) Birds Pay Tribute to the Phoenix

3-4) The Silk Road Fantasie Suite (movements 2 & 5)

5-7) Chinese Rhapsody

8) Song of Indian Merchants

9) Little Cowherd Folk Song

The juxtaposition of Guo's Chinese wind instrument with the western piano (in this case, a small, but lovely Fazioli from Sacile, Italia) is refreshingly beautiful; the two instruments working fantastically together!

After the piano duets comes ?The Grapes are Ripe? a short melodic piece with Silkroad influences, followed by ?Soar? a rather percussive and dynamic contemporary piece by the well known Hong Kong composer Ng Cheuk-yin. The set ends delicately with ?Lan Hua Hua, Folk Song of Shan Shi? on which the lovely Zhang Ling Ling accompanies Guo on GuZheng, her instrument of choice.

The project was produced in the summer of 2010 in the church at the Hong Kong Adventist College. The album was recorded during a four day period on my newly acquired (and soon after modified) Korg MR-2000S DSD master recorder, at the ultra high sampling rate of 5.6 MHz. My usual ?two of a kind? pair of MA custom, DC powered mikes with 16mm DPA omnidirectional capsules was used, along with a 3 meter pair of Crystal Cable Dreamline XLR cables. Mastering was done with Samplitude Master software.

Sonically Yours,

todd garfinkle MA Producer/Engineer

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