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"Chicago has a long history of being at the crossroads of the world," Yo-Yo Ma said as he described the landmark year long collaboration known as 'Silk Road Chicago'.This unique celebration, partnering Ma's Silk Road Project with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and dozens of cultural institutions throughout the city from June 2006 through June 2007, was an unprecedented adventure in discovery that moved a city to learn and explore musical traditions and cross-cultural connections, inspired by both the legendary Silk Road trade route and an unending spirit of curiosity.
Traditions and Transformations: Sounds of Silk Road Chicago on CSO Resound is an aural record of this remarkable journey, featuring a rich tapestry of musical works and passionate, virtuosic performances by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the Silk Road Ensemble, pipa soloist Wu Man, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Miguel Harth-Bedoya and Alan Gilbert.
Mongolian composer Byambasuren Sharav’s Legend of Herlen is an extraordinarily visceral piece that the Ensemble has been touring since 2001. It has been recorded on Sony BMG, but not with the CSO brass. It's scored for morin khuur: Mongolian horsehead fiddle, which Yo-Yo plays, long song, piano, three trombones and percussion. Lou Harrison's Pipa Concerto is beautifully virtuosic and a real showcase for Wu Man. It has been recorded before, but not by an orchestra of CSO calibre. Recorded live in Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center on April 12, 13, and 17; May 17, 18, 19, and 22, 2007
IV. Lolly's Pursuit of the Evil God and the Sunrise
“Bloch suggested the cello in Schelomo could represent the voice of Solomon. Ma invests the solo part with regal and sagacious qualities, but shot through with frailty. Khongorzul Ganbaatar contributes a nape-prickling vocal to Sharav's Legend of Herlen. Harrison's Pipa Concerto is predominantly bright in texture and lively in demeanour. Prokofiev's suite is very exciting and allows the Chicago SO to show off its power.”
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