Various Artists

Virtuosos From the Mongol Plateau

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Volume 77 of King Records' World Music Library, Virtuosos From the Mongol Plateau details three experienced Mongolian musicians. These musicians are the singer Namdziliin Norovbanzad, the morin khuur (horse-headed bowed lute) player Tsendiin Barculuun, and the multi-instrumental Gundenbiliin Yavgaan. The music is definitely performed by virtuosos, as can be told by the skill involved in the playing of the pieces. The only major problem with the recording is what can be expected to be its effect on Western audiences. Even a true fan of Mongolian music can get a little tired after eight straight minutes of Jew's harp (xel xuur). The xoomii performance is quite worthwhile, as the performer utilizes three different forms of the throat singing to demonstrate the diversity possible in the technique. The morin khuur playing is also quite good, though it always serves only to accompany the singing on this album, which can be a bit grating at times to the uninitiated (and occasionally even to the initiated). Overall not a bad choice of albums, though others might be better suited for most, such as Multicultural Media's Mongolia: Living Music of the Steppes.

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