Korean-born but a political exile in Germany for the last 25 years of his life, Isang Yun (1917-1995) managed to create a workable synthesis between western and eastern traditions, which fused a musical language based upon the total serialism of the post-war avant garde with elements drawn from both Korean and Chinese traditional styles. The three pieces here, all composed in the 1980s, show just how expressively effective that synthesis could be. In the First Chamber Symphony, it allows Yun to create a richly cushioned sound-world, full of shimmering textures, hazy microtones and supple, swooping gestures, while the rich string layering and urgent melodic writing of Tapis and the evocations of the sound of the Chinese harp in Gong-Hu, for solo harp and string orchestra, create music that is instantly attractive, even if the details of its inner workings are not always obvious.
Ibiza is the natural home of Human Design. A place where so many were attracted by the possibility of living a life that was ‘different’ from the homogenized standards of the societies where their journey originated. I was one of them when I arrived on the island 25 years ago looking for a way out of my struggle and to transcend my fears that life seemed to carry no other purpose than simply surviving, and in spite of enjoying the exotics of the ‘new age life style’ that being in such place brought into my life, I remained blind for years to the deeper layers of what this magical island had to offer.
While they are popular with clarinetists and some fans of early Romantic music, the three clarinet concertos by Bernhard Henrik Crusell have yet to achieve widespread acclaim outside this small circle of devotees. Conservative in style, predictable in form, and rather limited in expression, Crusell's extant concertos are engaging showpieces for virtuosos, with an agreeable blend of flashy techniques in the Allegros and pretty lyricism in the slow movements, but little more than that.
As you can see the musical legacy of impressionists musicians, profoundly influenced contemporary music today.
Yesterday Claude Debussy and today Erik Satie. On this occasion played on flute and classical guitar, by brothers John and Steve Hackett.