Search This Blog

Monday, October 5, 2015

Susan Chan, Echoes of China, Contemporary Piano Music

We live in an age where the entire world becomes ever closer to us, certainly from a musical standpoint. Chinese composers in the modern classical realm serve as an excellent example. There has been a blossoming of them in our era, and a good amount of the music can be found in commercial issue.

Pianist Susan Chan brings to us six works for solo piano by five living contemporary Chinese composers on Echoes of China (Naxos 8.570606). The works date from between 1964 and 2013.

The music is in a modern tonal mode with varying degrees of traditional Chinese melodic elements represented principally by pentatonic means. Each composer occupies his or her own stylistic niche but the anthology has a kind of unity via its nationalistic orientation. Zhou Long represents the more modernistic side with "Pianobells" (2012); Alexina Louie sounds a bit more on the impressionistic side in her "Music for Piano" (1982). Somewhere within these poles fall works by Doming Lam, Tan Dun and Chen Yi.

Susan Chan's performances are nicely expressive, pianistic and dramatic or contemplative, depending on the mood of the work.

It is a volume that speaks to us eloquently and gracefully. It serves as a good introduction to some of the finest present-day Chinese composers but also provides excellent fare for those already initiated into the modern classical music of some or all of the participants. A very good album, this is.

No comments:

Post a Comment