Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, completed about the same time as the Eroica Symphony, has suddenly become popular. One reason for its previous lack of popularity was the fact that three soloists cost three times as much as one normally expensive pianist, violinist or cellist. Another reason is that the work seeks to be a popular success, hence the Rondo alla Polacca with which it concludes. The piano part was intended for Beethoven’s patron and pupil, the Archduke Rudolph von Habsburg, and hence is less technically demanding than the composer’s usual pianistic writing, destined for himself. The standard CD (previously LP) of the work was a spectacular performance and recording made by EMI many years ago with David Oistrakh, Rostropovich and Richter with the Berlin Philharmonic under Karajan. It was opulently played with the BPO’s luscious sound, but has little to do with what Beethoven would have heard in 1804. Another choice was the version of Stern, Rose and Serkin (Sony), less lush and not so high-powered as Karajan’s.
The incessantly catchy pop-funk number "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" illustrates the change in musical direction Wang Chung undertook on Mosaic. Backing away from the synth-laced pop/rock that characterized their earlier albums, the duo concentrated on dance-pop. Apart from the singles "Everybody Have Fun Tonight," "Let's Go!," and "Hypnotize Me," the band had trouble coming up with well-constructed pop songs, making Mosaic a checkered affair.
Points on the Curve is Wang Chung's second album and first album since changing their name from Huang Chung and switching from Arista to the Geffen record label. It reached #30 on the Billboard 200 album charts on 14 July 1984 and features the #1 dance single "Dance Hall Days" and includes the hit singles: "Don't Let Go", "Don't Be My Enemy" and "Wait".
Rather than play any single complete suite (of the three) that Prokofiev extracted from the complete ballet, Myung-Whun Chung makes his own selection of numbers, roughly following the plot line and including music representative of all the major characters. Although some other collections offer more music, this hour of Romeo and Juliet makes a satisfying presentation on its own. What makes the performance special is the spectacular playing of the Dutch orchestra. Frankly, it's never been done better. From the whiplash virtuosity of the violins to the bite of the trombones and the firm thud of the bass drum, this is the sound the composer must have dreamed of.
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.
Feng Shui (2003). This album is part of a new lifestyle range created to bring you relaxing and harmonious surroundings, as well as enhancing your spiritual growth and inner well being.
Qigong (2006). Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system that uses breathing, meditation, visualization, and repetitive gentle physical exercise to cleanse and strengthen the body. Qigong literally means "the art of cultivating energy". Qigong re-establishes the body/mind/soul connection, and combined with the healing sounds of music it can help calm you mind and uplift your spirit…
This eleven CD box set from Korean violinist Kyung-Wha Chung combines her complete Warner Recordings produced in the period 1978/2000. Just to be clear: these are her recordings on EMI and not those released on Decca. Kyung-Wha Chung is an outstanding artist deserving of her elevated ranking in the pantheon of violinists and this set is a confident reminder of why she is so highly placed.