Vietnam is quite possibly one of the most misunderstood countries in Asia, and it is only in the past 20 years or so that Western people have been showing an interest in its music. The country has around 60 different ethnic people within its borders, with a large number of different music styles (Vietnamese themselves making 85% of the population). The influences Vietnamese music went through in its history are very diverse. From the north, China gave Vietnam many musical instruments and musical styles, but as well from the West, from Cambodia, Thailand, all the way from India. The music uses many more percussion instruments than China, and this is an influence that comes mainly from India. Moreover, another little known aspect is that there is a good number of musical instruments used that are found nowhere else in the world, and many found solely among particular minorities. This exceptional CD from Celestial Harmonies is a treat for the ears, giving us just a glimpse of the charm and the incredible diversity of Vietnamese music. You will hear compositions from modern composers as well as pieces from many different traditional styles and minorities. A most musical group of people!
AllMusic Review by Bruno Deschênes