Favourite Songs and Ballads
Shu-Cheen Yu (soprano)
Katherine Day (piano)
Since the release of Shu-Cheen's other CDs, Lotus Moon, Willow Spirit Song and Serenade with ABC Classics, many music lovers have suggested that they would like to hear her sing Lieder and other styles of repertoire. This CD is a collection of her favourite songs and ballads.
Shu-Cheen's love affair with art songs started at very early age. She was born into a musical family and both of her parents were involved with local opera companies in Shanxi Province. Her father was a fine musician. He was broadminded and he wanted her to learn Western music notations and solfege (do-re-mi...) to expose her to different music styles.
Some of the first Western songs Shu-Cheen heard were Brahms’ Lullaby, Schubert’s An Die Musik (Ode to Music) and Danny Boy, the Irish air. During the Cultural Revolution period, Western music was banned in China. But these peaceful, haunting and beautiful tunes stayed with her always.
After the Cultural Revolution, following her graduation from Shanxi Province Conservatorium of Music in Peking Opera Art & Performance, Shu-Cheen became a Chinese and Oriental folk song specialist.
She was a principle artist with the prestigious China National Oriental Song and Dance Company and was widely regarded as one of the best folk singers in China. As a result She performed regularly on China’s top radio and TV programs. In addition Shu-Cheen entertained visiting Heads of State and foreign dignitaries.
Whilst she was very busy with Oriental folk music, the haunting tunes of Western art songs were never far from her. They keep appearing in her head from here and there, now and then. They were like a lovely neighbour: she would hear them occasionally but I did not live with them.
In 1987, Shu-Cheen came to Australia and finally had the wonderful privilege of learning Western style of singing at the Opera Studio of Sydney University. The rest is history. The beautiful songs on this CD are a reflection to her artistic journey. They have all played an important part in her life.
Through music like this we celebrate humanity and the great world cultural heritage that we enjoy. We are fortunate indeed to have such a breadth of musical activities to appreciate and experience so freely today.
Wiegenlied (Lullaby) Johannes Brahms 1:58
Plasir D'amour (Pleasure of Love) Jean-Paul-Égide Martini 3:39
Mille Cherubini in Coro Franz Schubert 4:05
The Gentle Flowing Brook (Chinese folk song) 3:26
Londonderry Air (Danny Boy) (Irish folk song) 3:51
Ave Maria Johann Sebastian Bach Charles-François Gounod 2:50
Amarilli, Mia Bella Giulio Caccini 2:32
Le Violette Alessandro Scarlatti 2:42
Redente La Calma Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 4:31
An Chloë Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 2:35
Stänchen Franz Schubert 3:57
Die Vögel Franz Schubert 1:07
Frülighsglaube Franz Schubert 3:46
Auf Flügeln des Gansanges (On Wings of Song) Felix Mendelssohn 3:19
Vergebliches Ständchen Johannes Brahms 1:47
Si mes avaient des ailes Reynaldo Hahn 1:58
Zueignung Richard Strauss 2:06
An die Musik Franz Schubert 2:48