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Jenny Lin - Chinoisere (2000)

Classic | Author: SELMER | 6-06-2018, 06:12
Jenny Lin - Chinoisere (2000)
Artist: Jenny Lin
Title Of Album: Chinoisere
Year Of Release: 2000
Label: BIS
Country: Taiwan / USA
Genre: Classical
Quality: FLAC (*image + .cue, log, scans)
Bitrate: Lossless
Time: 01:02:47
Full Size: 265 MB


Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868)
[1] Petite Polka chinoise

Abram Chasins (1903-1987)
[2] Rush Hour in Hong Kong

Percy Grainger (1882-1961)
[3] Beautiful Fresh Flower

Anton Arensky (1861-1906)
[4] Etude sur en theme chinois

Alexander Tcherepnin (1899-1977)
[5]-[9] Five ('Chinese') Concert Etudes

Cyril Meir Scott (1879-1970)
[10] Lotus Land

Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924)
[11] Turandots Frauengemach

Morton Gould (1913-1996)
[12]-[17] Pieces of China

Jacqueline Waeber-Diaz (b.1967)
[18] Improvisation on a Chinese Folk Song

John Adams (b.1947)
[19] China Gates

Leo Ornstein (1895-2002)
[20] A la Chinoise

Bohuslav Martinu (1890-1959)
[21] The Fifth Day of the Fifth Moon

Albert William Ketelbey (1875-1959)
[22] In a Chinese Temple Garden

In BIS' Chinoiserie, pianist Jenny Lin brings one of the most compelling and relevant themed recitals to be heard on disc in years, a collection of pieces by Western composers that attempts to explore the subject of China in some regard, not only musically but culturally.

It is said that bandleader Cab Calloway once upbraided a young trumpeter in his band for playing "Chinese music"; the player was Dizzy Gillespie and the music was bebop. At one time, the very terms Chinese music were used to describe music so foreign as to be incomprehensible to the listener. The 13 composers represented on Chinoiserie did not, or don't, feel that way, but the form of expression varies widely among them; they range from Rossini to contemporary composer Jacqueline Waeber-Diaz. In Abram Chasins' Rush Hour in Hong Kong and Ketelbey's In a Chinese Temple Garden, both formerly very famous pieces, we experience the traditional Western caricatures of Chinese music, whereas in Alexander Tcherepnin's Five Chinese Concert Etudes we encounter a fully assimilated understanding of Chinese music into a virtuosic Western format. The important, but almost never recorded, Tcherepnin acted as a sort of a Marco Polo in reverse, fostering Western-style musicianship in Asia before the East turned "Red." Tcherepnin's music is wholly respectful to traditional Chinese idioms, as is Beautiful Fresh Flower by Percy Grainger, which could pass muster as a brand new classical work, but was written in 1935.

One could go on about how wonderful the selection is in Chinoiserie, but then one might be sidetracked and forget to mention how clear, uncluttered, and boundlessly creative Jenny Lin's playing is -- there isn't a single weak track in the bunch. It is customary to interpret Ferruccio Busoni's elegy Turandot's Frauengemach as if it were a short character piece, but Lin plays it like the mini tone poem that it is. Leo Ornstein's seldom-recorded A la Chinois has never been played better than here. Owing to Ornstein's reputation as a noisy futurist pianist, this is usually interpreted in that vein, but Lin understands the relationship between Ornstein and other Russian music of his time, such as late Scriabin. She concentrates on the trills, rather than the clusters, and his makes A la Chinois seem like watching an old black and white experimental film from the 1920s shot by someone riding around Shanghai on a bicycle, complete with bizarre anamorphic images and rapid-fire editing. It frees the piece of the baggage associated with mid-twentieth century interpretation and reveals the music for what it really is.

Jenny Lin's Chinoiserie is a fabulous collection that just about anyone can grasp and enjoy. Don't be scared off by the unfamiliar composer names, yet if one has a specialist interest about so-called "orientalism" in Western classical music, then this is just about the best starting place one can find. -- Uncle Dave Lewis

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