A nice exposition (and one of the only expositions) of langen mandra wanara, a relatively recent Javanese theatrical form in the grand scheme of things. Taking the basic Ramayana script that's at the center of much Indonesian music, the langen mandra wanara is essentially an operatic form with elements of older Javanese styles, and using primarily a recitative style throughout. The instrumental backing is highly related to the gamelan that's made Java famous, and the vocals are vaguely similar to some of the solo parts within Balinese kecak. Despite incorporating pieces of each, langen mandra wanara is something different. Pick it up for a not-so-quick view of a non-Western operatic tradition, and get Vol. 2 for the conclusion of the opera.
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AllMusic Review by Adam Greenberg