BRIGHT SHENG (b.1955): Northern Lights for Cello and Piano*, Melodies of a Flute for Flute/Alto Flute, Violin, Cello, Marimba and suspended cymbals*, 4 Movements for Piano Trio, Sweet May Again for String Bass and Piano*, Hot Pepper for Violin and Marimba*. * - First Recordings.
Catalogue Number: 07T067
Description: Sheng has repeatedly impressed in previous offerings (10R074, 04P089, 01L098) by his accessible, communicative style that effortlessly integrates modes and material from traditional Chinese music into a Romantic western idiom. This nicely varied program of chamber music is no exception. Northern Lights finds the composer experimenting with folk idioms from another culture - Norway - assimilated via its relationship to the folk music of the composer's adopted America into his familiar language. The intriguing result is music of charm and character that suddenly reminds one of something that Grainger or Grieg might have done with folk songs of the north. The other pieces draw on Chinese folk melodies and styles rendered into western concert music. The two legends based on poetry of Li Qing Zhao (1084–c.1151), full of longing, nostalgia and sensuous metaphor, are especially memorable. The dynamic and virtuosic contrabass piece, after a poem by William Carlos Williams, is more extrovert, and a strikingly muscular foil to the watercolor imagery of the other works here. Various artists.