LABELS: Winter & Winter
WORKS: Metropolis Shanghai: Showboat to China
CATALOGUE NO: 910 111-2
In the 1930s, Shanghai’s Little Vienna district, the haunt of European adventurers and Russian Jewish refugees, became a melting pot for everything from Western classical music to jazz to indigenous styles. This CD is a skilful recreation of what the atmosphere must have been like, laced as it is with ships‚ street cries, and traffic sounds, and even shellfire to evoke the Sino-Japanese War.
It opens with a girl artlessly singing a cappella, while old women gossip and play mah jong in the background. Other tracks include erhu solos, village music from bamboo and silk ensembles, and Buddhist temple chants; the Jewish laments seem entirely in place. Michael Church