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The Singing Gobi Desert' music for saxophones, Chinese instruments & percussion by Bright Sheng, Lei Liang, Fang Man, Huang Ruo / PRISM Quartet, Music from China

Album Summary

>Sheng, Bright : The Singing Gobi Desert, nonet for erhu/zhonghu, sheng, pipa, yangqin, saxophone quartet & percussio
>Liang, Lei : Messages of White, for erhu, sheng, pipa, yangqin, saxophone quartet & percussion
>Man, Fang : Dream of a Hundred Flowers, for erhu, sheng, pipa, yangqin, saxophone quartet & percussion
>Ruo, Huang : Quartet for Strings no 1 ("The Three Tenses")
Performer Conductors Ensembles Composers
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Notes & Reviews:

The saxophone's place in the music world is not at all what Adolphe Sax had in mind when he invented the instrument over 150 years ago. Ascendant in the world of jazz, relatively marginal in Sax's intended field of classical music, and surprisingly adaptable to various forms of non-Western music, the saxophone family is a marvelous accident of musical history,' WNYC's John Schaefer writes in the liner notes for the PRISM Quartet's new innova Recordings release, The Singing Gobi Desert. Partnering here with the ensemble Music from China, PRISM presents works by four Chinese-born American composers: Bright Sheng, Lei Liang, Fang Man, and Huang Ruo. The Singing Gobi Desert reveals that saxophones and Chinese instruments have a natural, if unexpected, affinity. From Bright Sheng's title track to Fang Man's 'Dream of a Hundred Flowers' this music is no simple fusion or mashup, but rather a deep integration of traditions, as reliant on the PRISM Quartet's extended techniques - flutter-tonguing, multiphonics, breath blasts, and key clicks - as on the composers' abilities to imagine new sound worlds. For nearly 30 years, PRISM has stood at the vanguard of new music ensembles, commissioning works across a broad spectrum of styles, and demonstrating the saxophone's versatility. The Singing Gobi Desert embodies PRISM's commitment to honoring the past and leading the way to the future through relentlessly creative collaboration.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Elm Street Studios, Conshohocken, PA (02/05/2012-02/08/2012).



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Works Details

>Sheng, Bright : The Singing Gobi Desert, nonet for erhu/zhonghu, sheng, pipa, yangqin, saxophone quartet & percussio
  • Performer: Hu Jianbing (Sheng)
  • Conductor: Bright Sheng
  • Ensemble: Prism Quartet (Saxophone Quartet)
  • Notes: Elm Street Studios, Conshohocken, PA (02/05/2012-02/08/2012)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 2012

>Liang, Lei : Messages of White, for erhu, sheng, pipa, yangqin, saxophone quartet & percussion
  • Performer: Hu Jianbing (Sheng)
  • Ensemble: Prism Quartet (Saxophone Quartet)
  • Notes: Elm Street Studios, Conshohocken, PA (02/05/2012-02/08/2012)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2011

>Man, Fang : Dream of a Hundred Flowers, for erhu, sheng, pipa, yangqin, saxophone quartet & percussion
  • Performer: Hu Jianbing (Sheng)
  • Conductor: Nove Deypalan
  • Ensemble: Prism Quartet (Saxophone Quartet)
  • Notes: Elm Street Studios, Conshohocken, PA (02/05/2012-02/08/2012)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2011

>Ruo, Huang : Quartet for Strings no 1 ("The Three Tenses")
  • Conductor: Huang Ruo
  • Ensemble: Prism Quartet (Saxophone Quartet)
  • Notes: Elm Street Studios, Conshohocken, PA (02/05/2012-02/08/2012)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary