Sunwook Kim, Alban Gerhardt, Myung-Whun Chung - Unsuk Chin: 3 Concertos (2014)

Sunwook Kim, Alban Gerhardt, Myung-Whun Chung - Unsuk Chin: 3 Concertos (2014)

Artist: Sunwook Kim, Alban Gerhardt, Myung-Whun Chung
Title: Unsuk Chin: 3 Concertos
Year Of Release: 2014
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Genre: Classical
Quality: FLAC (image+.cue)
Total Time: 72:11
Total Size: 341 Mb


Unsuk Chin (*1961)

[1]-[4] Piano Concerto (1996/1997)
[5]-[8] Cello Concerto (2008/2009, rev.2013)
[9] Šu for sheng and orchestra

Sunwook Kim, piano
Alban Gerhardt, cello
Wu Wei, sheng
Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
Myung-Whun Chung, conductor

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. This is the only work on the program with specifically Asian content (and the instrument involved is Chinese, not Korean), but the way the sheng is treated, generating extremely unusual texture combinations with the orchestra, is illustrative of the whole. The Piano Concerto of 1996-1997 is an extreme virtuoso work easily handled by soloist Sun-wook Kim, while the Cello Concerto (2008-2009, rev. 2013) uses a single note as its center and evolves the music of soloist and orchestra from that note in different ways. In none of the three pieces does the soloist fulfill the traditional concerto role of the individual opposed to the crowd, but neither is any of the three simply an ensemble work with a prominent solo instrument. This is precisely the music's considerable appeal, and conductor Myung-Whun Chung draws out the works' often exacting textures to their full extent. Recommended even beyond circles interested in contemporary Asian developments.


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