Wang Archive

TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto No. 2; KHACHATURIAN: Piano Concerto – Xiayin Wang, p. – Royal Scottish Nat. Orch./Peter Oundjian – Chandos

TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto No. 2; KHACHATURIAN: Piano Concerto – Xiayin Wang, p. – Royal Scottish Nat. Orch./Peter Oundjian – Chandos

Two little known Romantic Russian piano concertos thrill in expansive SACD sound. TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto No. 2; KHACHATURIAN: Piano Concerto – Xiayin Wang, p. – Royal Scottish Nat. Orch./Peter Oundjian – Chandos multichannel SACD CHSA 5167, 75:54 ****: The pairing of these two Russian Romantic warhorses brings together two works that deserve to be performed more often. Both have explosive melodic invention supported by rich orchestration and virtuosic opportunities for piano and orchestra. Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978) was Eastern Armenian by birth, but lived in Russia (Moscow) most of his life.   Initially interested in biology, at age 19 entered the Moscow Conservatory as a cellist, studying with Nicolai Miaskovsky. His music was tonal and fell easily on the ears. That helped him elude the Communist conservative forces that nearly destroyed Shostakovich. He grew up surrounded by folk music. “Popular festivities, rites, joyous and sad events in the life of people always accompanied by music,” he once wrote. His music is colorful, ripe with folk melodies and rhythmically dramatic. In the 1951 Record Guide a critic wrote, “A clever musician who knows every trick of the trade…Khachaturian’s talent seems fundamentally commonplace; but the athletic rhythms and luxurious texture of his orchestral […]

Audio News for October 21, 2016

Musical America 2017 Awards – went to pianist Juja Wang for Artist of the Year, to Andrew Norman for Composer of the Year, to Finnish Susanna Mälkki for Conductor of the Year. to bass-baritone Eric Owns for Vocalist of the Year, and to Eighth Blackbird for Ensemble of the Year. Noisy Audiences and Music – The Irish Times has a current article on Noisy Audiences and Classical Music. A couple in front of the reporter kept up an intermittent conversation thruout the entire concert. A few seats away a man was constantly swigging water from a large plastic bottle, while others here and there were busy texting away with their phones in silent mode.  Irritating clapping – applause for the sake of applause – broke out after each movement of a symphony only added to the overall atmosphere of casual inattention.  And the article didn’t even mention movies, where many of the audiences act just as they do at home watching TV, with everyone talking out loud. Ah, the advantages of listening to recorded music… Bluetooth Audio Set for Big Improvements – The people behind Bluetooth will move all audio applications into a new low-energy radio, called BLE for Bluetooth […]