Friday, June 12, 2009

Taipei Chinese Orchestra celebrates success of "Whirling Dance" recording

By Nancy T. Lu

Chung Yiu-kwong, composer and director of the Taipei Chinese Orchestra, has a very good reason to feel upbeat and, in fact, high in the year of the 30th anniversary of his orchestra.

Music critic David Hurwitz recently wrote of the orchestra’s first internationally released CD, "Whirling Dance,” on “The music is so pretty and flutist Sharon Bezaly’s playing so alluring that you’d have to be pretty miserable not to love it --- and the engineering is so stunning no matter how many channels you decide to employ in listening. I would very much like to hear some major works featuring the Taipei Chinese Orchestra as well. Chung Yiu-kwong has the group playing with fine ensemble qualities, and the orchestra’s timbers are familiar enough to be immediately assimilable, but different enough to be intriguing.”
"I read the review several times before the meaning of the words finally sank in,” Chung, composer of “Whirling Dance,” confessed.

The recording project undertaken with Sweden-based BIS took one year to realize. Pearl Lin (shown in picture with Chung) of Sunrise Records, ever eager to promote Taiwan’s musicians, initiated this recording venture and found herself overjoyed by the outcome. Her company paid for the travel expenses of two recording technicians as well as the costs of bringing in 600 kilograms of equipment.

"Whirling Dance” has been released by BIS in more than 20 countries. The market is expected to grow to cover eventually more than 40 countries.

Because of the success of “Whirling Dance,” the TCO has been asked to prepare for a second release with Bezaly two years from now. In December, however, two more TCO recording projects will be undertaken for BIS. Saxophone artist Claude Delangle will be featured in the first one and star trombone player Charles Lindberg will take the spotlight in the second one.

Aside from the music of Chung, the “Whirling Dance” CD also features Ma Shui-long’s “Bamboo Flute Concerto” (rearranged for piccolo).

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