The knowledge of Chinese music in the West is sometimes poor and frequently victim of prejudices. While other art forms of that country are universally appreciated, Chinese sound remains something abstract and mysterious. This alone is a could be good reason to present a Chinese music CD but here we are in presence of such an imaginative and skilled artist that the decision to issue this recording came naturally. The artist is Lingling YU, her instrument the Pipa.
Pipa is a Chinese lute with four strings and its origin is about 2000 years old. In ancient times it was an important instrument in the court; then it became part of the ensembles that accompany Chinese Opera performances, but it is manly for its possibilities as a solo instrument that the instrument got so much popularity. The repertoire is divided in two main styles: the lyric and refined Wen and the more dramatic and vigorous Wu. The repertoire here presented is a very classical one, where the tunes have reached a formal and content perfection that put them beyond a precise period of time, the pieces reach out a status of classicism, far from exoticism. Lingling YU is a virtuoso who gives us a fully possibility to appreciate the beautiful sound of pipa. Her musical education started when she was a baby and continued at the academy of music. Prizes and victories let her reach the deserved celebrity. However Lingling YU, even when she became a teacher, has continued to study with the best pipa teachers of her country, learning from their experiences and improving her technique. Each of her interpretations offers a large variety of feelings. Xu Lai (the Sound of Silence) is a trip through enchanted and changeable settings. It’s surprising that this is the result of only one instrument.