Huang Ruo: To The Four Corners

Huang Ruo: To The Four Corners

by Min Xiao-Fen
     
 

Chinese American composer Huang Ruo (born 1976) made an especially impressive debut with his first Naxos release, Chamber Concerto Cycle, which demonstrated a synthesis of Chinese and modernist traditions that seemed more fully integrated than that of the generation of Chinese American composers that preceded him. This disc alsoSee more details below

Overview

Chinese American composer Huang Ruo (born 1976) made an especially impressive debut with his first Naxos release, Chamber Concerto Cycle, which demonstrated a synthesis of Chinese and modernist traditions that seemed more fully integrated than that of the generation of Chinese American composers that preceded him. This disc also includes part of a cycle, the three inner movements of his "Drama Theater Cycle," and his "First String Quartet: The Three Tenses." The music is performed by the members of the ensemble Future In REverse (FIRE), a group the composer founded in 2005. The "Theater" pieces have no predetermined scenario and can be heard purely as absolute music, but they have dramatic elements that undoubtedly form a significant part of the impression they make in live performance. Drama Theater No. 3: Written on the Wind was composed for pipa player and singer Min Xiao-Fen and gives the performer opportunity to display her impressive virtuoso skills, including both extended vocal and instrumental techniques. Xiao-Fen has a wonderfully expressive voice and while much of the impact of the piece comes from her visceral singing and vocalizations, it's a work with a clear dramatic arc and an exciting, accelerating momentum. "Drama Theater No. 4: To the Four Corners," for five instruments, is structurally transparent, usually consisting of juxtapositions of just a few instruments at a time, but it's timbrally fascinating, with a varied, mysterious percussion palette and creepy vocalizations by the instrumentalists. The string quartet, the first of the composer's recorded works to feature a conventional ensemble, is an inventive and attractive essay in modernism, but it's a reminder of how much of Huang Ruo's individuality lies in the astonishing and imaginative timbral combinations of his pieces scored for unconventional mixed ensembles. Naxos' sound is open, clean, and natural.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/27/2009
Label:
Naxos American
UPC:
0636943965320
catalogNumber:
8559653
Rank:
366471

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Drama Theater No. 2 ("Shifting Shades"), for cello, piano & percussion  - Huang Ruo  - Charles Tyler  - Stephen Buck  - Huang Ruo  - David Stevens
  2. Drama Theater No. 3 ("Written on the Wind"), for pipa & voice  - Huang Ruo  - Min Xiao-Fen  - Min Xiao-Fen
  3. Drama Theater No. 4 ("To The Four Corners"), for flute, clarinet, violin, viola & percussion  - Huang Ruo  - Huang Ruo  - Future In REverse (FIRE)
  4. String Quartet No. 1 ("The Three Tenses")  - Huang Ruo  - Huang Ruo  - Future In REverse (FIRE)

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