CHRISTOPHER THEOFANIDIS (b.1967): Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra (Donald Berman [piano]), ROBERTO SIERRA (b.1953): Serenata, YENN CHWEN ER (b.1965): Shan Shui (Mountain Water), MARK O'CONNOR (b.1961): March of the Gypsy Fiddler for Piano Trio and Orchestra (Ahn Trio).
Catalogue Number: 11N096
Reference: DCD 576
Description: Er (2005) bases his 16-minute, four-movement work on two Chinese melodies - a folk tune and a song from the Yellow River Cantata - and uses a string quartet and chamber orchestra in a series "Dawn", "Celebration", "Song" and "Dance". A commission to celebrate a 35th wedding anniversary, Sierra's 17-minute work from 2005 uses 19th century piano music by Puerto Rican composer Juan Morel-Campos (a mazurka criolla, a danza and a guaracha) in an updating manner with a brief Entrada and a connecting Interludio to provide a modern-day equivalent of a Spanish Serenata. O'Connor is as ever, using three of his favorite "fiddle tunes" to produce the longest work on the disc (34 min.) while Theofanidis is the only contributor to not use folk music; his 2006 concerto looks back to early neo-classicism in the vigor with which he uses the piano as a percussion instrument with a three-note motif providing most of the material for the soloist. "Extravagant, wild" as the first movement's tempo indication and "Fast, brilliant" for the final movement couldn't be more correctly described. ProMusica Chamber Orchestra; Timothy Russell.