The Asian Invasion

Started by Todd, April 26, 2017, 10:12:45 AM

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A second disc of chamber music by Jia Daqun.  The disc opens with Flavor of Bashu for two violins, piano, and percussion.  A blend of western and eastern styles and sounds, one can easily think of it as an even more eastern Bartok, with hints of John Cage thrown in.  That doesn't really do justice as a description, but it's decent shorthand, and fans of dissonant music and some aggressive percussion may very well dig this piece a whole lot.  Counterpoint of Times switches over to a wind ensemble written using the golden section ratio in parts.  The bright piece sounds more vaguely avant-garde French than Chinese, but that's OK, too.  It lacks the impact of the opener, but it ain't too shabby.  Next is the String Quartet from 1988, and it offers a basically perfect merging of Chinese folk tune inspired music and avant garde string quartet writing one hears more commonly.  You get the night music pizzicato thing and glissandi, and so forth, but here it emerges even more colorful and varied than is often the case.  Muy bueno.  The disc closes out with the brief The Prospect of Coloured Desert, for Violin, Cello, Percussion, and both the Sheng and Pipa, so this work has the most decidedly eastern sound to it.  Jia, does not fall back on straight up folk music at all.  Instead, the instruments play fully contemporary, abstract music, like an up to date Bartok.  The more distinctive and unusual sound makes it stand out more than the other works, which says something.  Overall, the music sounds most compelling and makes the listener want to seek out yet more works by the composer. 

Tip-top playing.  Tip-top sound.
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

People would rather believe than know - E.O. Wilson

Propaganda death ensemble - Tom Araya

Roy Bland

From Altus Records


Strauss : Celebrating Music in Imperial 2600
Pizzetti : Symphony in A
Ibert : Ouverture de Fête
Veress : Symphony No.1

Helmut Fellmer – R. Strauss
Gaetano Comelli – Pizzetti
Kosaku Yamada – Ibert
Kunihiko Hashimoto – Veress
Symphony Orchestra for the Celebration of Imperial 2600
Recorded on 1940

Konoe : Cantata "Tairei-hoshuku" – 2nd, 3rd and 4th movements
Hidemaro Konoe
Satoko Matsudaira – Soprano
Yoshiko Sato – Mezzo Soprano
Eiichi Uchida – Baritone
New Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo
Vocal Four Chorus
Recorded on 1928

"Gyokuon-housou" (Radio broadcast on15 August, 1945 announcing the end of the war)


Roy Bland