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Chiayu: Journeys - Works for Mixed Ensembles / Ciompi Quartet; Members of the Philadelphia Orch. & Curtis Institute of Music

Album Summary

>Chiayu : Urban Sketches, for clarinet, cello & piano
>Chiayu : Huan, for harp
>Chiayu : Journey to the West, for string quartet
>Chiayu : Twelve Signs, for viola
>Chiayu : Sparkle, for trombone & tuba
>Chiayu : Zhi, for violin & piano
Performers Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Chiayu's evocative music reflects her origins in Taiwan and responses to life in the West, an environment in which her career has been burgeoning with a remarkable number of commissions and awards. Zhi explores counterpoint and Taiwanese rhythmic patterns, the title meaning "to weave or to interlace", while Huan conjures up sounds from nature. Employing virtuoso non-traditional techniques, the Twelve Signs of the Chinese zodiac portrays a complete cycle of character traits, while Journey to the West depicts an allegorical adventure towards enlightenment. The brilliance of Sparkle was inspired by fireworks and includes special brass-instrument effects, while Urban Sketches takes us on a walk through New York City, with electronic sounds interwoven seamlessly with those of the musicians.

American Record Guide, November/December 2015
Urban Sketches is for clarinet, cello, piano, and pre-recorded sounds, including whistles, car horns, sirens, and a turntable scratching. Huan is a three-movement piece for harp - contemplative, with stretches of silence. Journey to the West is a 23-minute string quartet based on a novel from the Ming Dynasty, where a monk and his disciple, the monkey king, venture to India. 12 Signs, a 17-minute viola suite, has a more assertive personality than the quartet; it's both rhapsodic and contemplative the way modern solo pieces often are, and it has good internal unity and some depth to its ideas. Sparkle is for brass quintet; the warbling lines are similar to the string quartet and the tinges of jazz are similar to Urban Sketches. Zhi is for violin and piano; the opening melody is lyrical, and it soars. III has a compelling intensity, and IV fairly spits fire. The solos and duo are the pieces worth hearing, and they're quite good. Notes are in English; the sound is fine.



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Works Details

>Chiayu : Urban Sketches, for clarinet, cello & piano
  • Performers: Ricardo Morales (Clarinet); Clancy Newman (Cello); Natalie Zhu (Piano)
  • Ensemble: Ciompi Quartet
  • Running Time: 11 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2013

>Chiayu : Huan, for harp
  • Performer: Coline-Marie Orliac (Harp)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2006

>Chiayu : Journey to the West, for string quartet
  • Running Time: 23 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2010

>Chiayu : Twelve Signs, for viola
  • Performer: Che-Hung Chen (Viola)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2008

>Chiayu : Sparkle, for trombone & tuba
  • Performers: Pierrick Fournes (Tuba); Brian Santero (Trombone)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2011

>Chiayu : Zhi, for violin & piano
  • Performers: Hanchien Lee (Piano); Hirono Oka (Violin)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2005