Xuefei Yang - Sketches of China
Xuefei Yang - Sketches of China
Artist: Xuefei Yang
Label: DECCA - 4819139
Country: HK
Released: 2020-08-07
Genre: Classical, Guitar
Ranking: 9.2


The experience of travelling the globe and performing music from many different countries has given me a more vivid perspective on my own cultural background. It triggered a desire to share more of my own culture with audiences around the world. And so began a significant personal project to add more Chinese repertoire to the transcriptions I had already made and recorded. This has involved commissioning new works, transcribing pieces and working with other Chinese instrumentalists to create music together.

With the benefits of greater understanding and experience, I now feel ready to present the first harvest of this journey - a double album dedicated to music from my country.

This recording reflects the breadth and depth of Chinese music. The music spans epochs from the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) to now, and spans a diversity of styles, including ancient classics, folkloric and modern, using musically significant pieces of repertoire where appropriate. In addition to transcriptions, there are also original compositions for guitar from leading Chinese composers. It also showcases the versatility of the guitar, including solo guitar works, works for guitar and orchestra, and chamber pieces with traditional Chinese instruments.

Location (Solo and Chamber): National Centre for Performing Arts, Beijing.

Location (Orchestral): Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra Rehearsal Hall, Xiamen


"Truth, fantasy, boldness and delicacy. Listening to Chinese classical guitarist Xuefei Yang’s latest album is like watching a parade of exquisitely rendered beasts on a silk handscroll...If this gorgeous recording finds its ideal pictorial analogue in a painted scroll, Xuefei Yang’s playing can best be compared to the spontaneity and control of a master calligrapher."
Gramophone Magazine, November 2020

"A release as important as it is appealing, this masterpiece is perhaps Yang’s greatest labour of love, not to mention a colossal achievement. While she has always used her international platform to champion Chinese music in concert and occasionally in the studio, this album realises that intent in a true ‘magnum opus’”
ArtMuseLondon, December 2020

"A landmark release, not only of guitar music but of the growing interaction between Chinese and Western musical cultures."
AllMusic, September 2020

"This is a seriously virtuosic performance that takes “classical guitar” in many exciting new directions.”
Classical Guitar Magazine, December 2020

"Everywhere Yang’s playing combines lightning quickness with subtlety of command, the details crystal clear and invested with myriad colours. From the pensive, traditional White Snow in the Spring Sunlight to Tan Dun’s boldly assertive Seven Desires (2002), the solos are astutely chosen and stylishly delivered."
BBC Music Magazine, September 2020

"the glistening rushes of notes that sound like they’re pouring out of her instrument”
Classical Guitar Magazine, December 2020


Presto Recordings of the Year Finalist 2020

Top 20 of 2020 - ArtMuseLondon

Top 10 Best World Music Albums of 2020 - Popmatters