Music has a peculiar power to evoke the feelings of times past. Sometimes these feelings come to us as bittersweet memories, and at others, it is almost deja vu, as if we were experiencing a shadowy recollection of a past life. Has something like this ever happened to you? Imagine, you are enjoying a quiet afternoon, perhaps sipping a cup of fragrant tea while music plays softly in the background and suddenly, you are transported to another place and time - a dream so real that you can taste it. When listening to the captivating voice of Li Yugang, you too will find yourself lost in the intoxicating dreams of China's early Republican Era.
Beginning in 1912 and lasting until 1949, the Republican Era still holds a fascination and even nostalgia for many. It was a turbulent time, fraught with many struggles and changes but from out of this crucible came new hopes and new dreams and a multitude of new dreamers – poets, patriots, artists, writers and musicians - whose dreams for the new Republic continue to fire the imagination.
The divine singing of Li Yugang brings to life once again the seductive sounds of that gilded age – the movies, the nightclubs; beautiful "Shanghai Flowers" in their form-hugging qipaos and dapper gents in top hats and tails wander through these songs and call us back to an energetic and elegant age; a time when everyone was dreaming fabulous dreams.
Listening to this album, wistfulness for that bygone age will fill your heart: "Meeting By Chance" and "Lotus Flower Blooms" weave their tales of bright beginnings; "Blooming Flowers and Full Moon" tells of the sweetness of love. In "Wandering the Old Dream" we experience lost love and faded youth, while the playful "Rose, Rose I Love You"praises the beloved’s tenacity and perseverance; "This Love is not for Me", recounts the inexpressible sadness at the end of an affair, and "If Only We Met Before I Married" describes a love that can never be. The up-beat energy of "Don’t Go So Fast" (a song inspired by "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe") combines girlish flirtation with a distinctive Chinese appreciation of the beauty of springtime, and "Man of My Dreams", with its Latin rhythms and seductive melody evokes love's longing. "Four Seasons Melody" and "Love You Forever" both originally made famous by Zhou Xuan in the 30s were later immortalized by Deng Lijun (Teresa Teng) decades later and continue to be popular to this day.
Today it seems as if we are a thousand lifetimes away from those dark days and glittering nights, but here, there is always a dream that is waiting for you. We are thrilled to present the world famous Chinese artist Li Yugang in one of the most extraordinary projects of his career. Considered a national treasure, Li has developed a unique artistic expression that includes dancing and Chinese opera, adding elements of modern popular music and merging each of these performance styles and techniques into what is known as "Li Yugang's Style."
In the making of this album, critically acclaimed music producer Ye Yunchuan assembled an all-star roster of nearly seventy artists from six countries to create a vivid portrait of China’s Republican Era in song. Ye is joined once again by Chinese master recording engineer Li Xiaopei. Working both at home and abroad, the two have served up an auditory feast that brings these intoxicating sounds to life once more.