Classical CD Review
Robert Benson
October 1, 2018

Another BMOP SACD offers unusual works by virtually unknown composer, Chen Yi. Born in 1953, she was a violinist and focused on composing music for string instruments. She met conductor Gil Rose when they were members of the Board of Advisors of the American Music Center. Rose, intrigued by Yi's music, suggested they make these recordings. The major work is Yi's Violin Concerto No. 2 called Springtime in Dresden, written in 2005 for Mira Wang, soloist on this recording. The 16-minute Xian Shiis the earliest work of the composer (1983) composed for Yi's graduation ceremony, scored for viola and orchestra. The premiere was played by Lizhou Liu, also heard on this recording. In this music the viola is used to suggest the sound of the the two-string fiddle yehu. Fiddle Suite features 3 types of hugin (Chinese fiddles). Recordings were made in different venues 2010 - 2014, and engineers have provided a satisfying, well-balanced sound. This is an opportunity to hear unusual music for string instruments, and we may be sure these performances are exactly what the composer intended. Yet another unusual SACD from BMOP!

R.E.B. (October 2018)