Chinese Lieder (2009)

Qingzhu, Qiufeng, Yuanreng, Zhuang, Zhongrong, Traditional, Sha, Jianfen, Ge

Reinild Mees, Jingma Fan

As an opera singer born in China, I have enjoyed a 15-years career singing abroad. During this long period, I have experienced the highs and lows of traveling, singing, and simply surviving. Much of time I was on my own and was sometimes very lonely. Often I was overcome with acute nostalgia for the beautiful Chinese melodies that I remember from my childhood. I thought many times how much I would love to present them to the West. As a full time singer performing in Western operas in Europe and North America, I had little opportunity to work on sharing my native music with the world. But now that, between concerts, I am often back in China, I have had time to properly prepare this great music, to sift through songs and make good selections.



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Reinild Mees

After extensive piano studies with Gérard van Blerk (Amsterdam), Malcolm Frager (USA) and Noël Lee (Paris) the Dutch pianist Reinild Mees concentrated her activities on accompanying singers and instrumentalists in recital. High-ranking artists as Elly Ameling, Gérard Souzay and Sandor Végh helped her refine and perfect her talents in this demanding métier.

Today Reinild Mees is a much sought-after accompanist for song recitals and duo concerts. She performs regularly in radio and television broadcasts. For Channel Classics Records she has recorded a number of interesting CD’s: The Complete Songs of Sir Edward Elgar, Ottorino Respighi, Franz Schreker and Karol Szymanowski. Currently she is recording all songcycles of Robert Schumann with the German baritone Jochen Kupfer, playing a historical grand piano from Schumann’s time. All of her CD’s have received extremely good reviews in Gramophone, Fono Forum, Musica, Luister and other magazines. In 2004 Reinild Mees won the Szymanowski - Award and the Medal 'Merit of Polish Culture' for her achievements in promoting the song repertoire of Karol Szymanowski. Recently the Szymanowski CD's won the FRYDERYK AWARD, the most prestigious music award in Poland for the best recording of Polish music in 2004.

As a vocal coach Reinild Mees has taught at the Amsterdam and Utrecht Conservatory, the European Centre for Opera and Vocal Art (Ghent) and the Opera Studio Nederland. In addition to accompanying masterclasses for Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Irmgard Seefried, Galina Vishnevskaja and other famous singers she played as an official accompanist for a number of international competitions. 

In order to promote the revival of the beautiful songs, mainly from the interbellum, which have been neglected after the Second World War, Reinild Mees founded the 20th Century Song Foundation. This foundation aims to bring back the musical treasure to the public by producing (semi-staged) song recitals with special themes: Spotlights concerts.

Jingma Fan

Fan Jingma came to international attention as a prize winner at the third Cardiff Singer of the World Competition 1987, and when he won a silver medal at the Rosa Ponselle International Vocal Competition 1988, and first prize in the Opera Index Vocal Competition 1991 in New York.
After having graduated from the conservatory in his native China, he stayed on as a professor of Voice. He became a national celebrity overnight after winning China’s first Televised National Youth Vocal Competition. He then went to Italy, where he refined his bel canto technique under the guidance of Carlo Bergonzi and then furthered his studies at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. He also studied with the famed tenor, Franco Corelli from 1992-1993 in New York.
Fan Jingma’s wide repertoire includes a variety of roles, from the dramatic to the comic. Such as leading roles in Faust and Don Carlos, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Rodolfo in La Boheme, Alfredo in La Traviata, St. Louis in L’Oracolo, Ramiro in La Cenerentola, Lensky in Eugene Onegin, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Don Jose in Carmen, and Florestan in Fidelio, Eric in Die Fliegende Hollander, Su Chong in Das Land des Lachelns, Evangelist in I am the Way, etc …. He has performed all over the world in Europe, Britain, Northern America, Australia, Asia, Russia and Africa in opera and concert, where he delighted audiences with his beautiful voice and truthful and vivid characterizations. Opera Now called his portrayal of Goro in the 1997 release of the film Madam Butterfly (by Frederic Mitterand and with James Conlon) “worthy of an Oscar nomination”.
Fan Jingma is also an accomplished recitalist, and is particularly appreciated for his warm and true renditions of the Chinese art songs, as well as the Neapolitan songs. Critics and fans alike have the highest praise for the collection of Neapolitan songs, which he recorded with the Central Ballet Orchestra of Beijing, and the CD of “The Most Beloved Tenor Arias” with Virginia Symphony Orchestra. His most recent interpretation of “Chinese Lieder” in super audio CD, accompanied by Reinild Mees (Piano), was an immediate hit after the release by Channel Classics


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Chinese Lieder (2009)

Qingzhu, Qiufeng, Yuanreng, Zhuang, Zhongrong, Traditional, Sha, Jianfen, Ge

Reinild Mees, Jingma Fan


(...) mit seiner weichen, gut durch alle Lagen geführten Stimme präsentiert Lingma Fan die eingängigen Melodische Lieder auf angenehme Weise.

    Dominy Clements

Jingma Fan has plenty of colour contrasts in his voice to be able to conjure impressions of tenderness and passion, even when one can understand the words. The SACD recording has plenty of extra acoustic information of Eindhoven's concerthall. This is a location which proves as good for chamber music as for symphony orchestra however and the sound and balace are well up to Channel's usual top quality.

    Opera News

"... there is pleasure to be had here. Fan states his intent to slenderize his operatic voice to make it more appropriate to the demands of the music. He does so to a degree but retains the lovely spinning legato inherent in his instrument. "

    American Record Guide

(…) more than just a novelty; it_s an effort to bridge the musical expressions of east and west. If you want to expand your cultural horizon, this is a good chance to do so


(…) Immerhin widmen Jingma und seine niederländischen Klavierbegleiterin Reinild Mees sich dem Dargeboten mit sympathischer Hingabe.


(…) The SACD recording has plenty of extra acoustic information from Eindhoven's substantial Frits Philips concert hall. This is a location which proves as good for chamber music as for symphony orchestra however, and the sound and balance are well up to Challenge's usual top quality. With full text and listings in Chinese characters, and Channel Classics' "Channel of China" label variant it is clear that the company is targeting a growing market overseas. With this fine product as a calling card I'm sure they will do very well indeed

    International Record Review

(…) Jingma Fan won the third Cardiff Singer of the World competition, and has since performed all over the world in numerous operatic roles. His is a secure and expressive tone, with a fairly tight and rapid; what the Dutch would call 'strak' vibrato. He has plenty of colour contrast in his voice to be able to conjure impressions of tenderness and passion, even when one can't understand the words. As can be seen from the titles, the songs are mostly about nostalgia and romantic longings set in beautiful landscapes and countryside. Reinild Mees is a skilful and sensitive accompanist. (…)

Chinese Lieder (2009)

Qingzhu, Qiufeng, Yuanreng, Zhuang, Zhongrong, Traditional, Sha, Jianfen, Ge

Reinild Mees, Jingma Fan

Cables: van der Hul
Digital Converters: Meitner AD/DA
Mastering Engineer: Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment: B&W 803 diamond series
Microphones: Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis custom made
Producer: Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer: Jared Sacks
Recording location: Eindhoven Holland
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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80908: Chinese Lieder
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Homeland Nostalgia
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