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50 Chinese Folk Songs

The first of the two collections on this CD, the 50 Chinese folk songs, consists of pieces arranged by Julian Yu for piano. There are also 15 other piano pieces, a mixture of arrangements of well-known Chinese songs and original compositions. All 65 are played by pianist Ke Lin.

China is one of the oldest countries in the world, covering an area close to 9.6 million square kilometres and comprising at least 56 ethnic groups. As a result, Chinese folk songs, which date back thousands of years, are extremely diverse and have evolved significantly over time.

The present CD brings together 50 most well-known Chinese folk songs in a unique arrangement for piano solo by Julian Yu. While these arrangements are very short with some pieces lasting no more than 30 seconds, they were created with the utmost attention to detail. For example, a number of folk songs have been harmonised pleasantly using western harmonic progressions from works of Bach and Brahms. However, this has been achieved without sacrificing the authentic character of the folk songs.

One, Flowing Stream, originally a song from Yunnan Province is based on only one chord from beginning to end, it captures the breathtaking beauty of southern China perfectly.

The musical language of the 15 Early Piano Pieces (1974-77) is more conservative, being composed by Julian in his early 20s during the final years of the Cultural Revolution. Although more radical compositional techniques were not permitted at the time. Julian’s distinctive sense of humour can still be found here. In The Ping-Pong Match contrapuntal techniques have been adopted to depict two Ping-Pong players. As the match intensifies, the music approaches hair-raising speed!


Ke Lin

Ke Lin was born in Shanghai and started learning the piano at age 3. However, his interest in playing piano only began at age 12 after hearing a recording of Chopin’s ‘Fantaisie Impromptu’.

Audio previews

Track Listing

    50 Chinese Folk Songs Julian Yu

  1. Flying the Kite (Hebei)
  2. Gada Meilin (Inner Mongolia)
  3. The Little Lover (Inner Mongolia)
  4. A Patch of Willow Trees (Shanxi)
  5. A New Year Visit (Shaanxi)
  6. Picking Flowers (Sichuan)
  7. Little Cabbage (Hebei)
  8. Lan Huahua (Shaanxi)
  9. Thunder a Thousand Miles Away (Shaanxi)
  10. The Furry Gourd (Shanxi)
  11. Jasmine (Jiangsu)
  12. Jasmine (Hebei)
  13. Jasmine (John Barrow)
  14. Labourers Have a Hard Time (Shaanxi)
  15. Small Planting, Huge Harvest (Jiangsu)
  16. Weeping Seven-Seven (Jiangsu)
  17. The Little Cowherd (Hebei)
  18. Jagged Mountain (Sichuan)
  19. Horse-Lantern Tune (Zhejiang)
  20. Wind Rustles the Bamboo Leaves (Fujian)
  21. Scenes of Wuxi (Jiangsu)
  22. The Embroidered Bag (Shanxi)
  23. Flower Lantern (Yunnan)
  24. Going West (Shanxi)
  25. A Gust of Wind Blew on the Day You Left (Inner Mongolia)
  26. A Pair of Ducks and a Pair of Geese (Shaanxi)
  27. Xintianyou Medley (Shaanxi)
  28. Mountain Song of the Horseman (Yunnan)
  29. Women on Patrol (Shanxi)
  30. Yimeng Mountain Tune (Shandong)
  31. Thirty-Mile Village (Shaanxi)
  32. Bitter and Alone (Shanxi)
  33. Weeping at the Great Wall (Jiangsu)
  34. Flowing Stream (Yunnan)
  35. A Rainy Day (Guangdong)
  36. Hunting the Yellow Goat (Shaanxi)
  37. Mum, You are Really Confused (Liaoning)
  38. A Little Bird (Taiwan)
  39. Fengyang Flower Drum – 1 (Anhui)
  40. Fengyang Flower Drum – 2 (Anhui)
  41. Man Jiang Hong (Ancient song)
  42. Willows are New
  43. Taihang Mountains (Shanxi)
  44. Three Folk Songs (Shanxi and Shaanxi)
  45. Snatching at Butterflies while Tea-Picking (Fujian)
  46. Tea-Picking (Zhejiang)
  47. Willows are Green (Jiangsu)
  48. Jiaocheng Mountain (Shanxi)
  49. Flower Riddle (Hebei)
  50. Song of the Yellow River Boatmen (Shaanxi)
  51. Canon in Two Voices Julian Yu
  52. Pentatonic Counterpoint Julian Yu
  53. Mountain Village Scene Julian Yu
  54. Mountain Song Julian Yu
  55. Day and Night, Thinking of You Julian Yu
  56. Tibetan Dance Julian Yu
  57. March Fair Julian Yu
  58. Theme and Variations Julian Yu
  59. The Little Wooden Boat Julian Yu
  60. Little Pine Tree Variations Julian Yu
  61. Mini Variations Julian Yu
  62. Sonatina in D Julian Yu
  63. Variations on The Blossoms of Friendship Julian Yu
  64. The Ping-Pong Match Julian Yu
  65. Variations on a Hebei Folk Song Julian Yu



Julian Yu

The multi-award winning Australian composer Julian Yu employs a musical language imbued with a high degree of elegance and expressiveness, which are both enhanced by an impeccable craft and special attention to detail.

Where to buy

50 Chinese Folk Songs is available for download from the iTunes Music Store.
It's available for streaming through Spotify and Apple Music.

50 Chinese Folk Songs is available as as CD. It can be purchased online through Buywell Music or the Australian Music Centre which both offer secure online ordering.

Move CDs can be ordered through music retailers across Australia including Readings.

Product details

List price
$25.00 AUD
Release date
May 2019
© 2019 Move Records
℗ 2019 Move Records
Classical, Folk music
Catalogue number
MD 3436
Alternate catalogue number
EAN 9314574343625