Thursday, 9 February 2012

ShenYang sings Chinese Lieder

In the five years since he won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition bass baritone ShenYang has come a long way. He sings all over Europe and at the Met, and this summer will debut at Glyndebourne. Read more HERE, with vocal clips -. He's still only 27. His is a bass baritone with remarkably resonant depth yet the flexibility to carry legato so it floats effortlessly. Mainstream opera will always occupy him - that's what the business is all about. But he also has a passion for Chinese art song. There's a long tradition of western classical music in China. Conservatories were founded in Beijing and Shanghai 100 years ago, and most Chinese musicians also trained in the west. Very strong Russian and French influences. Lots of famous bass baritones, too, like Yi Kwei Sze. Yet the genre is hardly known in the west. Dreimal heimatlos, because they were working in a new aesthetic. Many returned to China for idealistic reasons and ran into war and political suppression. Now, still culturally misunderstood.  Below is a clip of Shenyang singing Chinese art song on US Radio. The song is Flowers in the morning mist "flower fly flower", the composer is Huang Zhi. Listen to how he explains the song, and shapes it with great sensitivity. Photo credit Johannes Ifkovits.

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