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China National Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Michel Plasson - Guan Xia: Earth Requiem (2013)

Posted By: Designol
China National Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Michel Plasson - Guan Xia: Earth Requiem (2013)

Guan Xia - Earth Requiem (2013)
China National Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, conducted by Michel Plasson

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 309 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 178 Mb | Scans included | 01:03:52
Classical, Contemporary, Choral | Label: Virgin Classics | # 5099993411929

The “Earth Requiem” is a gigantic work performed and recorded in Beijing in May 2011 in remembrance of the devastating Sichuan earthquake in 2008. This is the first Chinese Requiem ever composed. This massive work by renowned Chinese composer Guan Xia is scored for 100 instrumentalists, a choir of 150 singers, an organ and 4 vocal soloists. The well-established China National Symphony Orchestra invited the legendary French conductor Michel Plasson, who has long had a close association with EMI Classics, to work on the project. This partnership between West and East gives the recording a universal breadth as well as an overarching theme: the Earth. The emotional strength of the work is empowered by its gargantuan scale. A concert and press conference will be held in May 2013 in Beijing's National Centre for the Performing Arts to mark the 5th anniversary of the Sichuan Earthquake.

The Chinese symphonic tradition dates back only to the late 1920s, while chamber music is an even more recent phenomenon, still largely practised by those Chinese-born composers who hold academic positions in the US. Here, though, we have something even more recent; ‘The first Chinese Requiem ever composed’, to quote the booklet. Whether Guan Xia (b1957), trained and working in China and with an output mostly of film and TV soundtracks to support him, is the right man to launch China into an arena peopled by the likes of Berlioz, Verdi, Brahms or Britten is questionable.

Certainly his inspiration was powerful enough. Faced with the appalling catastrophe of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in which, according to the BBC, 87,150 people perished and 4,800,000 were made homeless, he felt compelled to commemorate it in music of equally inconceivable magnitude. While its much-acclaimed ‘gigantic’ scale – an orchestra of 100, a choir of 150 and four soloists – might not seem quite so gigantic alongside the likes of Mahler and Havergal Brian, in terms of Chinese music it is very much charting unexplored territory. He shepherds his forces sparingly, some of the most potent moments coming when the forces are cut down to the bare minimum – a soulful violin solo and a mournful cor anglais in the second movement (subtitled ‘Heavenly Wind and Earth Fire’) and, perhaps the finest moment in the whole work, the opening of the fourth movement (‘Wings of Angels’), in which an improvisatory solo from He Wangjin on the Qiang flute is paired with a distant organ played by Shen Fanxiu. And while the chorus are used in each movement, only in the fourth (their entry coming as a rude shock after the ethereal instrumental opening) are they allowed to flex their collective muscle. Sadly they do so in music which is bland and predictable, more in the nature of a collective paean of praise for communism than a passionate outpouring of grief.

Chinese listeners will probably respond more readily to the effusive booklet essay, offering a detailed justification behind every moment of the music, than those in the West, for whom such commentary will serve more as a distraction. But given Michel Plasson’s inspired direction and the exceptionally responsive playing of the China National Symphony Orchestra, the music is given every chance to speak for itself, and there is certainly much to impress in it. One only wishes that Guan could have scaled it down a bit; this is very much a case of less being more.

Review by Marc Rochester, Gramophone

China National Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Michel Plasson - Guan Xia: Earth Requiem (2013)



Yao Hong (soprano), Liu Shan (mezzo soprano),
Jin Yongzhe (tenor), Sun Li (baritone),
He Wangjin (Qiang Flute) & Shen Fanxiu (organ)
China National Orchestra & Chorus
Michel Plasson, conductor

Tracklist:

Xia Guan (b. 1957)

Earth Requiem

01. Gazing At The Stars
(Meditation For Orchestra And Chorus) (16:27)

02. Heavenly Wind And Earth Fire
(Trilogy On A Fixed Melody, For Orchestra And Chorus) (17:06)

03. Boundless Love
(Romance For Orchestra, Soprano, Bass And Chorus) (15:56)

04. Wings Of Angels
(Ode For Qiag Flute, Organ, Orchestra, Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, Tenor, Bass And Chorus) (4:23)


Exact Audio Copy V1.0 beta 1 from 15. November 2010

EAC extraction logfile from 5. July 2013, 21:04

Guan Xia / Earth Requiem

Used drive : Optiarc DVD RW AD-7203A Adapter: 4 ID: 1

Read mode : Secure
Utilize accurate stream : Yes
Defeat audio cache : Yes
Make use of C2 pointers : No

Read offset correction : 48
Overread into Lead-In and Lead-Out : No
Fill up missing offset samples with silence : Yes
Delete leading and trailing silent blocks : No
Null samples used in CRC calculations : Yes
Used interface : Native Win32 interface for Win NT & 2000

Used output format : User Defined Encoder
Selected bitrate : 128 kBit/s
Quality : High
Add ID3 tag : No
Command line compressor : C:\Program Files\FLAC\flac.exe
Additional command line options : -T "COMMENT=Ripped by GFox" -8 -V %s


TOC of the extracted CD

Track | Start | Length | Start sector | End sector
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––-
1 | 0:00.00 | 16:27.34 | 0 | 74058
2 | 16:27.34 | 17:05.48 | 74059 | 150981
3 | 33:33.07 | 15:56.11 | 150982 | 222692
4 | 49:29.18 | 14:22.48 | 222693 | 287390


Range status and errors

Selected range

Filename D:\EAC\Guan Xia - Earth Requiem.wav

Peak level 87.5 %
Extraction speed 0.6 X
Range quality 99.9 %
Test CRC 45368FEE
Copy CRC 45368FEE
Copy OK

No errors occurred


AccurateRip summary

Track 1 not present in database
Track 2 not present in database
Track 3 not present in database
Track 4 not present in database

None of the tracks are present in the AccurateRip database

End of status report

==== Log checksum 50BC92D437A5424DE16895EBC33382FFD538C394710005B38BEFDC3DB02CF60F ====

[CUETools log; Date: 23.06.2018 15:59:21; Version: 2.1.4]
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Track | CTDB Status
1 | (5/5) Accurately ripped
2 | (5/5) Accurately ripped
3 | (5/5) Accurately ripped
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[AccurateRip ID: 000b3795-002cb098-370ef704] found.
Track [ CRC | V2 ] Status
01 [8c72248c|ddb20c6b] (0+4/4) Accurately ripped
02 [7613442b|ad33685c] (0+4/4) Accurately ripped
03 [a374f6ee|b2d06e35] (0+4/4) Accurately ripped
04 [42cc04bd|6f122f8f] (0+4/4) Accurately ripped

Track Peak [ CRC32 ] [W/O NULL] [ LOG ]
– 87,5 [45368FEE] [177EB4C3] CRC32
01 82,6 [B418055F] [AD547F23]
02 87,5 [6F2E94E5] [57206A79]
03 87,5 [F38B49BC] [24EAC084]
04 87,3 [8BFBC845] [856CED64]

foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2018-06-23 16:41:12

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: China NSO & Chorus, Michel Plasson / Guan Xia: Earth Requiem
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR16 -1.66 dB -23.82 dB 16:27 01-I. Gazing at the stars
DR15 -1.16 dB -23.63 dB 17:06 02-II. Heavenly Wind and Earth Fire
DR14 -1.15 dB -22.05 dB 15:56 03-III. Boundless Love
DR17 -1.18 dB -24.52 dB 14:23 04-IV. Wings of Angels
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 4
Official DR value: DR16

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 609 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================

China National Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Michel Plasson - Guan Xia: Earth Requiem (2013)

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