A country shaped by struggles with Chinese, French, Japanese and American invasions. That is how Vietnam stands in the minds of many, while its culture most people actually know little about. It is a rich culture, whose musical heritage has developed over a thousand years' time. Celestial Harmonies, early in 1994, released the first two volumes of The Music of Vietnam series in order to bring this beautiful, fascinating music to the world at large.
More than a year has passed, and attitudes toward Vietnam are growing and changing. It is under different circumstances that Celestial Harmonies announces the release of The Music of Vietnam 3 CD Boxed Set, complete with the final volume of the series The Music of Vietnam, Volume Two recorded at Hue. In 1995 the trade embargo against Vietnam was lifted, something only just considered at the time Volumes 1.1 and 1.2 were released. The United States government reestablished diplomatic relations with Vietnam, and Robert S. McNamara's In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam rose to number one on the New York Times' best seller list. While there is still a great deal to learn about the culture of Vietnam, circumstances are beginning to encourage such learning.
Celestial Harmonies presents this definitive collection of music of the Vietnamese people. Though many cultures that share some part of their history with Vietnam have left unmistakable im pressions, this collection spotlights the music which belongs to the Vietnamese people. Mainstream traditional, or folk music composes the first two volumes; the last volume captures the essence of the music of the Imperial Court. Together the 3 CD set offers a glimpse into a colorful and complex culture.
The Music of Vietnam series is recorded and produced by David Parsons, also producer of Celestial Harmonies' The Music of Cambodia series (19902).
Performers on Volumes 1.1 and 1.2 include many of Vietnam's premiere traditional musicians, including some who are teachers at the conservatory in Hanoi. The musicians utilize a wide variety of Vietnamese traditional lutes, stringed and percussion instruments, and flutes. Musical Director is Pham Van Ty.
The music of Volume 2 is performed by the Hue Traditional Art Troupe, artistically directed by La Thi Cam Van. The recording was made at Hue, the ruins of Vietnam's last Imperial city.
The Music of Vietnam, Volume 1.1
The Music of Vietnam, Volume 1.2
The Music of Vietnam, Volume 3: Imperial Court Music