He Boaquan


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The guzheng is an ancient Chinese 21-stringed zither-like instrument not dissimilar to the better-known Japanese koto. This recording consists of 15 traditional songs performed by the husband and wife team of He Baoquan and Sun Wenyan, she playing the first eight selections, he the last seven. The pieces tend toward the calm and pastoral, generally played with single-note pluckings in a lute-like manner that isolates the tones, allowing the vibrato to echo beautifully. He Baoquan's attack is slightly deeper and more aggressive, plumbing great emotional depths from his songs. All of the pieces are quite accessible to the ears of Western listeners and, in fact, it's not difficult to hear what sound like bluesy passages here and there. But essentially, Guzheng is a collection of gorgeous Chinese music and yet another superb release by King's world music library. Highly recommended.

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