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CD Review: THE LITTLE FOX AND OTHER MONGOLIAN FOLKTALES

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New folk opera recording reviewed

CD Review: THE LITTLE FOX AND OTHER MONGOLIAN FOLKTALES

Two-act children's folk opera, The Little Fox And Other Mongolian Folktales, is the latest recording to be released by independent British label SimG Records.

The recording intertwines four tales from Mongolian folklore - The Wise Judge, The Fool And The Moon, Why The Camel Rolls In The Ashes and The Faithful Little Fox - and features traditional Mongolian melodies, cultural instruments and techniques. What's more, the album is all the more authentic as it was recorded at the White Arch Studio in Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia, with a professional cast and musicians from the country itself.

The book, music and lyrics have been created by award-winning artist Andrew Fisher, who recently wrote Girl In A Crisis starring Lorna Want - another excellent recording available from SimG Records.

This has a very different feel to previous CD's that I have listened to from the recording company. The cultural influence shines through every moment, with the vocals quite simply exquisite. They are layered with gorgeous harmonies, which pair beautifully alongside the textured orchestrations. The use of Mongolian instruments is wonderful, and I love how they are used to push the story forward. The repetition of orchestrations occasionally is a nice touch and, for a younger audience in particular, this is a useful tool.

Certain tracks I did find a little lacklustre, however. Stakes could be higher in parts and sometimes I felt a lack of intent behind the lyrics. There are 29 songs on this album, so I do feel that this could have been condensed to enable it to be a more powerful piece as whole, but it definitely has many moments of excellence.

The Little Fox And Other Mongolian Folktales will be released on 7 September in physical form and will be available digitally in early 2021



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From This Author Jenny Ell