Chinese Classical Music is rarely this good. After the release of Volume 1 in this series by Lei Qiang, Volume 2 needed to be released. It was released back in 1998, so let’s see if it still holds up today.

We begin with Muleteer which has a great and wonderful traditional Chinese music sound. It is quite soothing in its approach, and is a gentle and reassuring listen, full of Chinese history and feel to it. A lovely piece of craft, this sounds genuinely good. Very moving in a positive way.

Next is Embroidered Pouch which is awesome. These pieces are around two minutes or so long, but sound sensationally wonderful and lovely. Chinese instruments galore are here, and this is a must hear from Chinese culture fans and lovers. Additionally, those who want something completely different will also be at ease here. Great piece of music.

Song From Shandong is next, with a night time Chinese outer space sort of feel in the intro. It does sound really quite moody (in a good way) and well delivered. A deep and meaningful piece, this is a lovely musical experience that pulls at heartstrings as well as headstrings. Great stuff.

The Menjiang Girl comes next, and is absolutely gorgeous to listen to. This is a three minute piece that sounds like a piece of Chinese classical beauty. If you love Chinese music, history, culture, art and languages, you will feel right at home here on this album. This is beautiful and refreshing, a genuinely gentle listen. Enough to demand listening to and a good starting point for Chinese classical music. It has an interesting finish.

Next is The Four Seasons which is another lovely Chinese music piece. Bear in mind that this music is not negative at all, it is a deep and wonderful listening experience from east Asia culture. Brilliant stuff, great to hear.

Following is Flower Drum which is excellent to hear, with a timeless intro. The whole thing is very Chinese, and also very good quality listening here. Beautiful and wonderful simultaneously, this is a great representation of what China and Chinese culture is about. Top music. It has a lush finish.

Amazing Red Sun comes next, and is definitely joyous and upbeat. Given Chinese culture, red is a very important colour and this is image evoking. A terrific sounding piece of music, and definitely one of the highlights of this album. Pure and beautiful.

Lullaby follows, and begins with some rather spacey sounds before going into a very relaxing piece of music. It is gentle and soothing, and less than three minutes long. Some beautiful string instrumentation is here, and this is another solidly good listen. Great to hear.

Next is The Hill Looks Like A Bottle which starts off with some basic melodies before launching into a beautiful and basic piece of moving Chinese instrumentation. This is really great, very touching and shows that there is a completely different musical world out there. Enjoy this, it is a top listen. Very soothing and relaxing. It is around four and a half minutes long, which is oddly a longer song on this album. Great all the same, it must be heard to be experienced.

Following is Dating which is pleasant and beautiful. It is a joyous and romantic piece of music that sounds really awesome. Short and sweet, definitely something that sounds majestic. Amazing music, great to hear. It has a dramatic finish.

Butterfly Lovers comes next, which sounds really great. It is a genuinely good listen. The music on this album is quasi-spiritual as well, which is always good to hear. Great piece of music, and a fine listening experience. Beautiful.

Picking Flowers arrives, which is a pleasant and easygoing sort of instrumental Chinese classical music piece. Short and sweet, most of these songs are around two minutes long. A truly inspired and great listening experience, this should be listened to by anyone who wants to know more about China.

Next is The Faraway Place which very much sums it up about China. It is a soothing and emotional listening piece, enough to make one wonder about the ancient history and culture of China. It’s not trashy western music here, just a deeply emotional listen. Great stuff.

Following is Thinking Of The Past which is a beautiful and majestic piece that is top, like the rest of the album. Just really excellent, this is amazing listening and definitely great. Reflective music for a reflective mood, very emotionally powerful.

Rendezvous In The Yurt comes next, and seems like a good mixture of melody and percussion here. The whole album in fact is a top effort of Chinese cultural music, and this piece is no exception. Great music, some of the fluttering melodies here are wonderful. Nice to hear, a moving listen.

The Faraway Voice is another very interesting and pretty listening experience. It is brilliant and majestic sounding, showcasing a great talent of Chinese classical music by Lei Qiang. Top notch stuff, this is a gem of Chinese music history and culture. Another brilliant effort.

Next is Crescent Moon Before Dawn which is a very beautiful and image evoking piece for those who dig a picture of said moon above a sleepy Chinese village. A very excellent and great listening experience, this is a showcase for true Chinese artistry. Nice to hear.

Following is Morning Star Lily which is awesome, and only a minute long. Superb melodies and musicianship are very much a part of this album, memorably so. Great short effort.

Nostalgia is the last and longest piece here, at nearly seven minutes long. It has a faraway intro, and slowly builds up with melodies and percussion. As the melodies emerge, we enter a blissful musical piece that is a great and original listen for Chinese culture. It has a slow and soothing nature about it, and this is particularly good for those who just need a piece of Asian music to relax to. It changes approach and tempo halfway through, which makes it even more interesting. It has a false ending, before launching into another set of melodies before gently fading out. Brilliant.

Okay, this is no doubt a great listen. Although, yes, it is Chinese classical music, that should not deter you from listening to it. A great and melodic piece of original artistry, this should be in anyone’s collection if they dig east Asian or Chinese stuff. Great, great music.