XU SHUYA (b.1961): Insolation, Cristal au Soleil Couchant, Echos du Vieux Champ, Nirvana, Yun for 2 Sopranos and Orchestra (Shu-ying Li, Qilian Chen [sopranos]).
Catalogue Number: 06Q090
Description: A Chinese composer with an impressive European background - studies with Stockhausen, Donatoni, Jolas and Grisey, among other luminaries - Xu handles large orchestral forces with confidence and originality, in a predominantly western idiom. Several of these pieces are based on traditional Chinese legends or folk songs, and in these cases the composer incorporates rhythms and melodic fragments derived from music of his native land - most notably in Yun, which is a kind of extended huge-scale fantasy on a traditional song - but always as elements within a contemporary western context. There is a noticeable trend toward romantic harmony and greater rhythmic stability in more recent works - after a tempestuous opening, 1997's Nirvana contains some ravishing passages of quiet chordal writing, and Yun (2007) could almost be classified as neo-romantic. The earlier pieces, from the early 1990s, place greater emphasis on sonorist methods in vivid depictions of legends and observations concerning the Sun, in waves of impressive, incandescent orchestral texture. Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra; Gottfried Rabl.