This eleven CD box set from Korean violinist Kyung-Wha Chung combines her complete Warner Recordings produced in the period 1978/2000. Just to be clear: these are her recordings on EMI and not those released on Decca. Kyung-Wha Chung is an outstanding artist deserving of her elevated ranking in the pantheon of violinists and this set is a confident reminder of why she is so highly placed.
The Chinese pianist Chen Sa has received much acclaim for her interpretations of composers such as Chopin, Rachmaninov and Ravel, but on the present disc she makes something of a return to her roots, in a (mostly) Chinese programme of solo and concertante works.
Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, completed about the same time as the Eroica Symphony, has suddenly become popular. One reason for its previous lack of popularity was the fact that three soloists cost three times as much as one normally expensive pianist, violinist or cellist. Another reason is that the work seeks to be a popular success, hence the Rondo alla Polacca with which it concludes. The piano part was intended for Beethoven’s patron and pupil, the Archduke Rudolph von Habsburg, and hence is less technically demanding than the composer’s usual pianistic writing, destined for himself. The standard CD (previously LP) of the work was a spectacular performance and recording made by EMI many years ago with David Oistrakh, Rostropovich and Richter with the Berlin Philharmonic under Karajan. It was opulently played with the BPO’s luscious sound, but has little to do with what Beethoven would have heard in 1804. Another choice was the version of Stern, Rose and Serkin (Sony), less lush and not so high-powered as Karajan’s.
This release represents something of a milestone: a performance of major, public Korean compositions by mostly Korean musicians, recorded for a large Western label and presumably marketed at least as much to Westerners as to Koreans. Composer Unsuk Chin was a student of György Ligeti, but her style resembles his only in her general orientation toward layered textures and rhythmic emphasis. She writes music in which the relationships between blocks of sound shift over the course of a composition, and although her harmonic world is atonal, her writing is not difficult to follow. The concerto form allows an ideal introduction to what she does, and the three works here are attractive examples (she has written several others). Start with the concluding Su, for sheng & orchestra, from 2009.
Feng Shui (2003). This album is part of a new lifestyle range created to bring you relaxing and harmonious surroundings, as well as enhancing your spiritual growth and inner well being.
Qigong (2006). Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system that uses breathing, meditation, visualization, and repetitive gentle physical exercise to cleanse and strengthen the body. Qigong literally means "the art of cultivating energy". Qigong re-establishes the body/mind/soul connection, and combined with the healing sounds of music it can help calm you mind and uplift your spirit…