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Richard Danielpour: Enchanted Garden / Xiayin Wang

Album Summary

>Danielpour, Richard : The Enchanted Garden, preludes (5) for piano (Book 1)
>Danielpour, Richard : The Enchanted Garden, preludes (7) for piano (Book 2)
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"The first book of The Enchanted Garden was composed in 1992; the five preludes in that cycle were musical responses to dreams that I had and had eventually written about. The second book, written nearly seventeen years later in 2009, includes seven preludes; experiences and memories both recent and historical are the sources here and the origins of the titles. The fine line between dream and memory, between reality and fantasy has always intrigued me." - Richard Danielpour Richard Danielpour has written a wide range of orchestral, chamber, instrumental, ballet, and vocal works and has been commissioned by a number of major international musical institutions, festivals, and artists. Among his numerous accolades are a Lifetime Achievement Award and the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, a Guggenheim Award, and the Bearns Prize from Columbia University. He is also an active educator, serving on the Curtis Institute and Manhattan School of Music faculties as well as giving master-classes and coaching sessions to young musicians throughout the country. An artist with a winning combination of consummate technical brilliance, fine musicianship, and personal verve, pianist Xiayin (SHA-EEN) Wang wins the hearts of audiences wherever she appears. As recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral soloist in such venues as New York's Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, she has already achieved a high level of recognition for her commanding performances. Ms. Wang completed studies at the Shanghai Conservatory and garnered an enviable record of first prize awards and special honors for her performances throughout China. She performed with many of China's leading orchestras and in the country's most prestigious concert halls. She holds Bachelor's, Master's and Professional Studies degrees from the Manhattan School of Music.

Audiophile Audition
The music is dreamy, reflective, pensive, aggressive, very structured, free-form sounding, jazzy, popular, and classically-oriented. In other words, it's all over the map in terms of influence and style, and is all that more interesting for it. ... played to pithy effect by Shanghai Conservatory and Manhattan School of Music graduate Xiayin Wang, who has a real feel for the idiom.

MusicWeb International
Sound quality is pretty good, though some background traffic noise can be faintly heard at times - nowhere in New York is safe from that particular pollution. There are also a few noises off, especially at the end of some tracks, which, though barely audible, still should not be there. Inexplicably, the final milliseconds of both Books, which end similarly with a sustained chord, are faded down abruptly, when the engineer seemingly thought no one was still listening.

Although 17 years separate Richard Daniel pour's two books of preludes that encompass The Enchanted Garden (1992 - 2009), the composer's keyboard style remains remarkably consistent and skillfully crafted for maximum pianistic effect. Influences and inferences reveal themselves and often run rampant. The soft right-hand trills and delicate filigree supported by a left-hand ostinato midway through "Promenade" evoke Debussy rewritten by Hindemith.

American Record Guide
Richard Danielpour's Enchanted Garden is two enjoyable books of piano preludes with subject matter taken from the composer's life. Danielpour is an excellent pianist himself, so the piano writing is colorful and idiomatic in both sets. These pieces are easily accessible and formally uncomplicated, thoroughly musical and engaging, and should be embraced by pianists looking for uncomplicated and audience-pleasing new recital pieces.

WGBH 99.5
Pianist Xiayin Wang plays these evocative, polished miniatures masterfully.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, USA.


Haunting Enchantment
This was another brilliant performance by Xiayin Wang. Her precision is absolutely uncanny. Coupled with the intricacies of Danielpour work, she truly shines in this recording.
Submitted on 04/25/11 by SRA 
Wang leads the way down flowery pathways to Danielpour’s ‘Enchanted Garden’

Xiayin Wang’s credentials and experience, described in the booklet accompanying the CD “Enchanted Garden”, alert us to the treat of hearing her beautiful control and rounded sounds; then the performance lifts us to an adventure on a flying carpet of melodic fantasy. Her technical prowess and elegant performance live up to the praise in the booklet text.

Composer Richard Danielpour explains well the twelve preludes, making sense of their titles. The descriptions provide a basis for understanding themes based on his personal dreams. These “experiences and memories” are captured in five Preludes in Book 1 from 1992 and seven Preludes in Book 2 from 2009. Danielpour has a rich career in many musical venues and his own following in the world of performance.

The playlist, performer, and composer are listed in Chinese on the Media Player; fortunately the jacket is in English. Are there so many Chinese readers in the American market that this is the preferred way of listing the preludes? It is especially puzzling since the disc was supposedly made in Canada and put together in the U.S.--with an American flag as background. The Arabic numerals correspond to the items within each Book, not the numbers of the tracks. Anything less would have English speakers numbering the preludes as they listen.

While some selections are peaceful and others are gritty, Item #2 in Book 1 and #4 of Book 2 are especially appealing--—Ms. Wang really takes us to ragtime and the Gershwin world! She understands the music completely, and shares that appreciation with the audience. “The Enchanted Garden” is a welcome addition to the collection of modern piano music, and displays the skills of both Danielpour and Wang.

Submitted on 08/12/11 by howsweetthesound 
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Works Details

>Danielpour, Richard : The Enchanted Garden, preludes (5) for piano (Book 1)
  • Performer: Xiayin Wang (Piano)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, USA (12/29/2009-12/30/2009)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1992

>Danielpour, Richard : The Enchanted Garden, preludes (7) for piano (Book 2)
  • Performer: Xiayin Wang (Piano)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, USA (06/13/2009-06/14/2009)
  • Running Time: 27 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2009