Memories Spent - Chen Sa, Taipei Chinese Orchestra, Chung Yiu-Kwong (2015) [SACD-ISO]

  • 17.06.2016, 02:37,
  • Music
Memories Spent — Chen Sa, Taipei Chinese Orchestra, Chung Yiu-Kwong (2015) [SACD-ISO]Memories Spent — Chen Sa, Taipei Chinese Orchestra, Chung Yiu-Kwong (2015) [SACD-ISO]

Memories Lost
Fazil SAY (b.1970)
Piano Concerto No 3, Op.11 (2001) ‘Silence of Anatolia’ [21.42]
Hsiao TYZEN (b.1938)
Leave-Taking Étude, Op.55 [6.24]
Memories of Snug Harbor A Comfortable, Op.49: Respect [2.53]
Yu JULIAN (b.1957)
Impromptu, Op.9 (1982) [3.21]
Cheng QIGANG (b.1951)
Instants d’un opera de Pékin (2004) [11.19]
Xang XIOAHAN (b.1980)
A Disoriented Journal (2007): A to-do in the minority [4.22]
Wang XILIN (b.1937)
Piano Concerto, Op.56 (2010) [30.20]
Chen Sa (piano)
Taipei Chinese Orchestra/Chung Yiu-Kwong
rec. Zhongshan Vestibule, Taipei, Taiwan, November 2013
BIS SACD BIS — 1974 [81.55]

This zealous deliver contains two piano concertos framing a alone presentation of novel Chinese music by the skilled and sharp Chen Sa. The incorporation of the first of these concertos seems rather paradoxical, however, since uncharacteristic the remain of the pieces on this disc it seems to have no Chinese uniting whatsoever. Both concertos were written for, and given their first performances by, Western symphony orchestras, but are here arranged for ‘Chinese orchestra’ by Chen Mingchi and Simon Kong Su Leong respectively. The constitution of this orchestra combines some Western percussion including timpani, cellos and replica basses with habitual Chinese end up instruments and strings including a well-to-do plucked-rope segment consisting of lutes, dulcimer and zither – although the instance of the orchestra on the subvene of the booklet also discloses the phlegm of a decidedly Western-looking replica-vitality harp.

In the concerto by the Turkish composer Fazil Say the phlegm of the Chinese instruments is hardly detectable, and the booklet notes imperial that the arranger had “endeavoured to save Fazil Say’s truthful vogue of orchestration, especially in lawfulness to cure the calm atypical that pervades much of the vocation.” I have to size up that the tranquillity is not entirely unperturbed, since there are some quite destructive eruptions during the first drift and a scherzo-like second drift with the unexplained and perplexing subtitle Persistence. The Turkish population persuade is palpable, and there are many moments of asset. Some further clarification of the routine that seemingly underlies the music might have helped the listener to appreciate the scratch to a greater extent.

The concerto by Wang Xilin was written, we are told in the booklet note by the conductor, as a alert counterbalance to the Yellow River Concerto which had become a figure of the Chinese Coup D«. While that vocation was in many ways a honour to the concertos of Rachmaninov — which accounts in massive quota for its lionization in the West — Xilin’s vocation is similarly a honour to Prokofiev. This relates not just to the piano concertos but also to his vapour music for Ivan the Frightening whom Xilin not unjustifiably seems to correspond to Mao-Tse Tung. The vocation is dedicated to his dominie Lu Hongun, conductor of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, who was killed in the Cultural Coup D». Indeed the debut drift is unconditional of , which develops piecemeal from a Prokofiev-like toccata into a actual squeal of take issue with. After that one might trust the put on the brakes passacaglia which follows to convey a impression of remission but there abide internal tensions underlined by semi-military rhythms. There is little or no unmistakeable Chinese essentials in this music but at the origin of the finale it out of the blue emerges with a extended clarinet alone (here performed on a sheng). This leads via a percussion breathing-space into a fugue of dynamic distort. The booklet note claims no routine for the music, but I am tempted here to observation the concerto as a low of Straussian Heldenleben where the composer here confronts his ‘critics’ in encounter. This also would help to interpret the calm conclusion to the drift, a ‘retirement from the world’ indeed where the composer at last achieves a impression of unwarlike and implementation. The rescoring for Chinese orchestra has been well done even though at the end the ear can resonances of the ‘muted strings’ to which the booklet refers. I mental activity I could gather Western trumpets and trombones at a few other points. Chen Sa performs excellently in the many passages of moto perpetuo and brings a actual impression of tidbit to the end of the concerto. The vocation is unlikely to darken the Yellow River Concerto in public hold dear, but it deserves to be heard more time. It was first performed in November 2010, but this appears to be its first recording.

Between these two concertos Chen Sa performs a assortment of novel Chinese pieces for piano. The Impromptu by Yu Julian is little more than its baptize describes, but the withdraw from A disoriented journal in Wang Xiohan is a remarkably contrived transcription of a Chinese align. The more well-to-do Instants d’un opera de Pékin by Chen Qigang was written for a commission from the Olivier Messiaen Global Piano Meet. The shield of Messiaen does indeed cling to dull on the vocation but the textures are imaginatively treated and get a actual impression of hieratic pomp as the compose progresses.

Best of all in this mini-presentation are the two pieces by Hsiao Tyzen. Respect is a transcription of a vocal compose, adapted for the piano (as the booklet informs us) “owing to its high-minded popularity”. The booklet also draws parallels with Chopin, which are not unjustified; and in the Leave-Taking Étude, too, the persuade of that composer can be felt. This is a really pulchritudinous compose, describing a monk’s withdrawal from the globe and his realisation many years later of the pointlessness of everything. There is a actual impression of ongoing and nostalgia in mate quota, and a euphony that remains in the big cheese for days afterwards. This compose should really be taken up by other pianists. Not that this is to detract from the acquirement of Chen Sa, who spins a smashing spirit throughout and is chicly recorded. The encyclopaedic booklet notes come in Chinese, English, French and German.

Paul Corfield Godfrey

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