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interesting, charming and unique offering. Gramophone, China

June 5, 2007

Gramophone China, Rudolph Tang


This is an absolutely beautiful release that brings you peace and quiet, like a brook that you can jump into anytime without blocking it, so that the stream smoothly runs by. Chenyue’s Xiao and Hannibal’s guitar mingle the soft and sensitive tunes with humble love. You can turn on the CD anytime and the music immediately flows from all corners to cuddle you in a delicate and elegant atmosphere; you can also walk away at any time without getting lost.

Chenyue’s Xiao and Hannibal’s guitar are the only instruments throughout the album. Simple, but the cooperation is full of plain and glamorous human love. It feels like having a visit from a friend, and you play alone or listen or play together to make a beautiful tune. Both of them are definitely remarkable in their respective field. Chenyue is already quite a pioneer of working with musicians from different fields and the best proof of this is the innovative and impressive consistency of each new recording. Lars Hannibal, who graduated from Royal Academy of Music in Arhaus, the second largest city in Denmark, is quite familiar with China and was invited to Shanghai International Jazz Festival because of his cooperation with EMI as one of the top players. During that visit, he fell in love with Chinese music and culture.

“East Meets West” is a music dialogue between two musicians where they communicate, switch roles and try to open up, all through music. They selected 18 melodious and contented pieces from Eastern and Western music including old Chinese pieces, European Baroque music and some very popular folk songs from Asia and Europe – they avoid unnecessary impurities, so that they can express themselves with their own traditional and classic music. Though there are differences between Eastern and Western music, they share something, especially in the selected traditional tunes and folk songs in which the Xiao from the East and the classic guitar from the West are harmoniously sounding perfect. This was also the concept for the cooperation between these two artists.

“Jasmine” starts the release, several clear Harmonics brings the delicate prelude, followed by Chenyue’s Xiao. Obviously, the song is so well-known and touching that the player “sings" from the bottom of her heart and the guitar plays deep down the petal. In “The Last Rose of Summer”, Chenyue extends Xiao’s possibilities outside traditional Chinese music field so that her peaceful breathing beautifully expresses the music. The guitar performance is classical. The melody sounds like a melodious pen dipped with Xiao’s tune, elegantly pointing to a piece of paper fluterring in the summer breeze. “Three Variations on Plum Blossom” is a Xiao solo instead of Chinese zither and because of Chenyue’s plain and smooth playing, the distance and coldness is softened. It’s the first time to hear Air by Bach on Xiao and guitar, a little surprising. To select “Autumn Piece” is a wise decision, the exquisite arpeggiando brings the joy and you can almost hear the Xiao in the smoke. “El Noi de la Mare”, “La Filadore” and “Love Waltz” are clean and clear guitar solos full of emotions expressed through excellent skills to fill our hearts with happy sadness. I prefer “Gypsy Air” not just for the wonderful cooperation but the music itself – a sad ethnic piece, landing softly on our souls.

Reading the booklet of the CD, one can find many descriptions on the meaning of spirits and soul, as the connection between East and West is being analyzed.. The title “East Meets West” implies a little conflict and contradiction. However, the interesting, charming and unique offering is capped with a bigger hat. Thoughts are always a burden to music.
精神——东西方的碰撞
SPIRITS – East Meets West

箫 陈悦
吉他 拉斯汉尼拔
Our Recordings [M] [2] (54’ DDD)

意趣盎然、独具魅力的小品

这无疑是一张美丽的唱片,它带给你所需要的安静与平和,仿佛一条可以随时轻松跃进却又无意阻断其流淌的小溪,让它在你耳边轻声、愉悦地流过。陈悦的箫声和汉尼拔(Lars Hannibal)的吉他混合出了一种极为柔美、纤细的音色,它带着如此谦卑的爱意包容着我们情绪的敏感度,你可以随时启开CD唱机的开关按钮,音乐瞬间从角落里慢慢弥散开来,精致、小雅的氛围裹住我们的身体;你也可以随时走开,返回时不会迷路。
整张唱片只有陈悦的箫和汉尼拔的吉他,简单至极,两人的配合却也盈溢出了一种质朴、优雅的文人情怀,像是以乐会友的翩翩君子,两人一唱一和,演奏、聆听,抑或是执手共同演绎一段凡间妙音。毋庸置疑,两个人的技术在各自的领域都是标志性的,陈悦在国乐和不同类型音乐的融合探索道路上已走得很远,她一张比一张精彩的唱片就是证明。而毕业于丹麦第二大城市奥尔胡斯皇家音乐学院吉他专业的汉尼拔,对中国也并不陌生,他曾作为EMI等唱片公司长期合作的顶尖爵士乐手,被邀请参加过“上海国际爵士音乐节”,并从此陷入对中国音乐与文化的热情与向往中。
《东西方的碰撞》中的音乐是两位艺术家用音乐进行的对话,他们用音乐交流,并彼此交换着位置,试图通过音乐找到一条打开心灵之路的办法。他们从东西方音乐宝库里选择了18手最悠扬、抒情的曲目,其中包括中国的古曲、欧洲巴洛克时期的音乐、以及在一些亚洲或欧洲非常流行的经典民谣旋律——没有一首当代原创作品,仿佛是为了避开不必要的杂质,他们用各自的传统与经典音乐来表达自我并相互沟通。尽管东西方的音乐有很多不同之处,但也不乏共同、共通的东西,尤其是在本唱片收录的这些传统曲调与民歌里,呈现出了东方的箫与西方的古典吉他和谐共处的完美音质,这是两位音乐家合作的前提。
从“茉莉花”开始,几个清冽的吉他泛音后,是一段精致的前奏,陈悦的箫进入,显然,是因为这首曲子太过经典和动人,它已经进入到了演奏者者的内心,你仿佛是在聆听陈悦“演唱”这首乐曲,吉他则低到了花瓣的深处。在“夏日里最后一朵玫瑰”中,陈悦展示了箫在国乐范畴之外的延伸性,她用从容的气息将这首英国民谣演绎得异常优美,吉他的演奏堪称经典,它犹如极富韵感的笔触将蘸满箫声的旋律优雅地引向夏日微风中轻轻颤抖的纸面。以箫独奏的“梅花三弄”,不似古琴演绎的那么富于古韵,陈悦的演奏朴实、平稳,用更为柔和的音色弥补了丝弦的冷硬。第一次听到箫和吉他联袂演奏巴赫的“G弦上的咏叹调”,意外之余,收获平静。收录“又见炊烟”是一个明智的选择,细腻的分解和弦指法带来了愉悦的情绪,不远处也闻到了如烟般的袅袅箫声。“圣母之子”、“金丝线”、和“爱情华尔兹”几首吉他独奏,干净、透明,只有充满情感的技巧才能让我们获得愉快的伤感。我很喜欢“吉普赛之歌”,不仅因为吉他和箫有着美轮美奂的合作,更因为因为本身——一首悲伤的音乐,一个悲情的民族,却带给了我们灵魂最柔软的着陆。
阅读唱片内页,更多的篇幅都放在阐述精神和灵魂的意义上,似乎在刻意地揣测着东西方文化的联系,“东西方的碰撞”的标题也有点制造矛盾和冲突的嫌疑,这本是一张意趣盎然、有着独特魅力的小品集,却被扣了一个它自身难以承载的大帽子。思想,对于音乐总是负担。