For China , the 20th Century was a unique era that is filled with dramatic social and political turmoil. In the musical world, there were three schools of thought existed under the influence of western music. The first school aimed at reviving the ancient music of the dynasties and resisted the influence of Western music. The second school concerned itself almost exclusively with Western music. The last school of Chinese music took great pride in traditional Chinese musical culture but did not hesitate to apply the western techniques of composition and performance. Many institutions were established to train musicians in both Chinese and Western styles.
After the establishment of People’s Republic of China in 1949, the assimilation of western composition techniques into traditional Chinese music reached an unprecedented level. Many Chinese composers went into the mountains and rural areas in search of the authentic music of the ordinary people, just as Bartok did in his native Hungary . They lived among the people, performed for them, and learned from them. Even though the composition techniques are western, the spirit of the Chinese folk music is well represented because of the composers’ deep knowledge of the folk music and their passion to speak for the people.
The compositions recorded on this CD were written around the mid 20th century and are good examples of the synthesis of Western and Chinese folk music.