Yao Dance (Chinese Traditional) 5:45
Originally composed for orchestra by Liu Tieshan and Mao Yuan
in the 1950s, inspired by the dance music of the Yao people
during traditional festivals, when people dress up, gather under
the moonlight and beat long drums. There is a marked contrast
to be felt between slow lyrical passages and the energetic rhythms
which emerge and eventually bring the piece to it's exciting
Company (Philip Glass, 1937-) 7:34
Composed in 1983 for the dramatization of legendary Irish writer
Samuel Beckett's prose poem 'Company', this four movement piece
has since achieved huge popularity because of the composers
gift for simple melodies and effective use of cross-rhythms.
Glass has had an incredibly varied and prolific career, writing
music for successful films such as 'The Hours' and 'Mishima'
and being feted around the world as one of the truly original
voices of contemporary music.
Nightclub (Astor Piazzolla, 1921-1992) 5:54
Astor Piazzolla moved effortlessly between styles during his
musical life, playing bandoneon in jazz or folk bands as well
as studying classical composition with the great composer Alberto
Ginastera. This piece was originally written for flute and guitar
as part of the composer's 'Histoire du Tango'. It is a perfect
example of Piazzolla's style, combining an indepth knowledge
of classical and jazz harmony with an instinctive natural flair
for tango, the sensual rhythmic dance of his homeland Argentina.
Sai Shang Qu (Chinese classical tradition) 7:26
This piece, in the typical lyrical style of the traditional
pipa repertoire, is said to represent the sorrowful song of
the Han dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) noblewoman,Wang Zhaojun, a
famous beauty who had to marry a barbarian prince for political
reasons, sacrificing herself to the oppressor to save her country.
This melancholic melody reflects her nostalgia, having realised
that she would never see her friends and family again.
Concerto for pipa and Guitar (Antonio Vivaldi, 1678-1741)
This piece, originally a concerto for mandolin and orchestra
in C Major (RV425), illustrates Vivaldi's capacity to write
in a lighter, more accessible manner then many of his contemporaries.
Indeed Bach himself studied the Italian maestro's work before
composing his famous Brandenburg Concerti. Vivaldi lived the
life of a humble priest and his name endures today through works
such as this one and the unforgettable 'Four Seasons' violin
Pieces for pipa and Guitar (Toshiyuki Hiraoka, 1964-)
 I Wish 2:01
 Water Necklace 3:22
 Twisted Illusion 2:58
World premiere recording. These works with their hypnotic, captivating
melodies, evoke the serenity and grace of Japanese culture.
Toshiyuki Hiraoka (Japan) has been actively involved in the
music scene for a long time, having compsosed music for a number
Spillieart's Beach (Ian Wilson, 1964-) 6:23
Ian Wilson is one of the most successful composers to emerge
from Ireland in recent times. His music has been performed and
broadcast on six continents. 'Spilliaert's Beach was inspired
by Belgian artist Leon Spilliaert's painting 'Moonlit Beach'
(1908). The composer remarks: "This is a dark, almost abstract
work, with a single shining focus, and these characteristics
were what I wanted to echo in my work."
Romanian Folk Dances (Bela Bartok, 1881-1945) 6:58
i Joc Cu Bata
iii Pe Loc
v Poarga Romaneasca
Hungarian composer Bela Bartok is regarded as a true giant of
twentieth century music. His work, while distinctly modern in
a classical sense, pulsates with the rhythms and nuances of
Eastern European folk music. Throughout his life, the composer
devoted much time and energy to collecting, notating and cataloguing
folk tunes of his people and the stirring melodies of this piece
emanate from such endeavors. Bartok's classical training can
be felt in some of the complex rhythmic and harmonic accompaniments
but he always preserves the integrity of these beautiful melodies.