top of page

Music Magazine Klassisk (Norway)Michala Petri’s performances are
nonetheless breath-taking

October 31, 2010

Martin Andersson

The Our Recordings CD of four recorder concertos by Chinese composers is
more of a halfway house. The concerto Flying Song (2002) by Tang Jianping
(född 1955) is bright and energetic, martial and dance-like as required, but
with moments of introspection. I see from Joshua Cheek’s highly informative
(necessarily so!) booklet notes that Tang writes film music as well as in
almost every other genre; this concerto suggests his film scores must be
extremely effective. Bright Sheng’s Flute Moon (1999) is in two movements: a
driving toccata representing a huge ‘dragon horse’ in Chinese mythology and
the second an angular and vigorous elaboration of a melody from c. 1200. The
good-natured and attractive Bamboo Flute Concerto (1984) by Ma Shui-Long
(född 1939) has become something of a classic: written for dizi, or soprano
bamboo flute, it accommodates Chinese melodic material within the framework
of a western concerto – and there’s a ‘western’ flavour in another sense,
since there’s more than a hint of Hollywood in Ma’s scoring; the grandiose
peroration of the slow movement is wonderful. The Ancient Chinese Beauty
(2008) by Chen Yi (född 1953) is a step or two on from Bartók, with
astringent, mildly dissonant folk-based harmonies and insistent, almost
minimalist rhythms. Here, too, the idea is almost more interesting than the
music: all four pieces are relatively lightweight in terms of their musical
content – it will need a real heavyweight of a composer to come along and
crunch west and east together in an individual language before this kind of
cross-fertilisation sounds natural. Michala Petri’s performances are
nonetheless breath-taking (literally, I suppose), and she gets fine supports
from her Danish compatriots under Lan Shui. by Martin Andersson, Nov/Dec 2010

bottom of page