The crispness of Zhao's pipa is well defined with fine balance.

Zhao Cong plays the ancient Chinese pipa, a four-stringed instrument sometimes referred to as the Chinese lute. She learned to play from a very early age and won her first important award at the age of 13. Zhao was later recruited as 1st pipa soloist of the Central Orchestra for Chinese Music in Beijing.

Track: Moonlight on Spring River (Z. Cong)
Album: Sound of China (2007)
Label: Universal Music, Beijing
Appears on: DALI CD Vol. 3

Zhao Cong has toured in over 20 countries and performed for a dozen heads of state. Her popularity outside China and extensive touring have broadened her musical references to embrace other musical cultures and traditions. Cong now often performs a fascinating blend of classical Chinese music and music with Western references.

Moonlight on Spring River
Moonlight on Spring River is a brilliant production made by Hans Nielsen of Focus Recording.

He used Neumann U47, DPA 4040 microphones and his SSL mixing console for this project. The Sound of China was recorded in China, Denmark and Prague, Czech Republic. The crispness of Zhao's pipa is well defined with fine balance from the subtle opening and dynamic middle section, through to the end of the piece.

The huge soundstage, deep bass notes and impressive dynamics make this a unique sound experience, providing a glimpse of the potential for new modes of expression that can result from the collaboration between musicians of very different cultural backgrounds and training. Remember that modern R&B, rock and pop are mostly derived from Afro-American blues, Portuguese Fado and the Spanish Flamenco tradition.


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