The Hugo Masters comes in a silk-covered box containing notes and music running the gamut of Chinese classical music. This collection was put together by Aik Yew-Goh. He was an Asian Alan Lomax, capturing elder virtuosos. However, he used extremely high quality equipment. Most of the Chinese classical tradition ceased with the 1911 Chinese revolution. Aik scoured for living masters before the upheaval. The four-CD set is broken up by instrumentation: bowed strings, plucked strings, woodwinds, and percussion. Vol. 1: Bowed Strings represents the music of the Chinese lute. This instrument is bowed over one string and under another. The Tibetan cut "Stroll of New Town" is a lively instrumental reminiscent of everything from shadow puppet plays to strolling through Toronto's Chinatown.
AllMusic Review by Tom Schulte