TAN DUN (b.1957): Concerto for String Orchestra and Pipa (Wu Man [pipa]), HIKARU HAYASHI (b.1931): Concerto for Viola and Strings "Elegia", TORU TAKEMITSU (1930-1996): Nostalghia for Violin and String Orchestra, Music from the Films José Torres, Black Rain and Face of Another.
Catalogue Number: 03J089
Label: Onyx Classics
Description: Tan Dun's conceto for the lute-like Chinese pipa blends traditional Chinese and contemporary wetsren styles and plays them off each other in a work of considrable energy and humor. The string orchestra is constantly called upon to adapt its playing to emulate effects easily obtained on the solo instrument - bending pitches and so on - and there are a few theatrical moments involving shouts and foot-stamping. There is enough straightforward pentatonic or diatonic material (including a Bach quotation) to ensure that the work remains accesisble thropiughout. Takemitsu's Nostalghia is a tribute to film director Andrei Tarkovsky; a somber elegy in a predominantly western tonal idiom, though with some sliding notes and unusul harmonics providing an exotic flavor. Three extracts of actual film music by the composer are included, in which western idioms are tapped to great effect; the unsettled, gentle dissonances of the music for the Hiroshima film Black Rain are especially poignant. Hayashi's concerto is a decidedly eastern-European (rather than farther eastern) influenced work, with flavors of Bartók, Martinu and Shostakovich and an intricate and demanding solo part. Yuri Bashmet (viola), Moscow Soloists; Roman Balashov.