I’m honored to discuss this CD. I found Fred Ho’s Monkey: Part One a glorious surprise, and this second section of his musical setting for the trickster tale is no disappointment. The ensemble’s personnel has few changes, notably Francis Wong as tenorist; but its spirit remains dramatic, flexible and visionary as Ho achieves tremendous range from trombone, three saxophones (including his own baritone), bass and drums, and several performers on Chinese traditional instruments.
Three attractive and lively concertos by two exact 18th-century contemporaries (they were both born in 1739) the Viennese Dittersdorf and the Bohemian Vanhal who on at least one occasion played string quartets with Mozart and Haydn. (Haydn and Dittersdorf played violins; Mozart played viola; Vanhal the cello.) This seems to be the only recorded pairing of the two Dittersdorf concertos.