Jenny Lin - Chinoiserie (2000)

Posted By: Designol
Jenny Lin - Chinoiserie (2000)

Jenny Lin - Chinoiserie (2000)
Works by Rossini, Chasins, Grainger, Arensky, Tcherepnin, Busoni,
Gould, Adams, Ornstein, Jacqueline Waeber-Diaz, Scott, Martinů

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 267 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 194 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical | Label: BIS | # BIS-CD-1110 | Time: 01:19:43

In BIS' Chinoiserie, pianist Jenny Lin brings one of the most compelling and relevant themed recitals to be heard on disc in years, a collection of pieces by Western composers that attempts to explore the subject of China in some regard, not only musically but culturally.

It is said that bandleader Cab Calloway once upbraided a young trumpeter in his band for playing "Chinese music"; the player was Dizzy Gillespie and the music was bebop. At one time, the very terms Chinese music were used to describe music so foreign as to be incomprehensible to the listener. The 13 composers represented on Chinoiserie did not, or don't, feel that way, but the form of expression varies widely among them; they range from Rossini to contemporary composer Jacqueline Waeber-Diaz. In Abram Chasins' Rush Hour in Hong Kong and Ketèlbey's In a Chinese Temple Garden, both formerly very famous pieces, we experience the traditional Western caricatures of Chinese music, whereas in Alexander Tcherepnin's Five Chinese Concert Etudes we encounter a fully assimilated understanding of Chinese music into a virtuosic Western format. The important, but almost never recorded, Tcherepnin acted as a sort of a Marco Polo in reverse, fostering Western-style musicianship in Asia before the East turned "Red." Tcherepnin's music is wholly respectful to traditional Chinese idioms, as is Beautiful Fresh Flower by Percy Grainger, which could pass muster as a brand new classical work, but was written in 1935.

One could go on about how wonderful the selection is in Chinoiserie, but then one might be sidetracked and forget to mention how clear, uncluttered, and boundlessly creative Jenny Lin's playing is – there isn't a single weak track in the bunch. It is customary to interpret Ferruccio Busoni's elegy Turandot's Frauengemach as if it were a short character piece, but Lin plays it like the mini tone poem that it is. Leo Ornstein's seldom-recorded À la Chinois has never been played better than here. Owing to Ornstein's reputation as a noisy futurist pianist, this is usually interpreted in that vein, but Lin understands the relationship between Ornstein and other Russian music of his time, such as late Scriabin. She concentrates on the trills, rather than the clusters, and his makes À la Chinois seem like watching an old black and white experimental film from the 1920s shot by someone riding around Shanghai on a bicycle, complete with bizarre anamorphic images and rapid-fire editing. It frees the piece of the baggage associated with mid-twentieth century interpretation and reveals the music for what it really is.

Jenny Lin's Chinoiserie is a fabulous collection that just about anyone can grasp and enjoy. Don't be scared off by the unfamiliar composer names, yet if one has a specialist interest about so-called "orientalism" in Western classical music, then this is just about the best starting place one can find.

Review by Uncle Dave Lewis,

Jenny Lin - Chinoiserie (2000)

Rather than an attempt to depict a reality-based musical view of China, pianist Jenny Lin's program seems designed to show how fantasy tends to mix with reality in many Western composers' attempts to evoke the flavor of a far-off, exotic land that held strong fascination. Of course, this fascination with the Orient in general began centuries ago with Europeans' first awareness of music, styles, food, and art, an awareness that grew to spawn periodic fads and influence fashions. Rulers stocked their palaces with treasures brought from the far east; Puccini and Gilbert and Sullivan celebrated this attention and many other composers included or tried to include elements of what they thought was oriental "flavor" in some of their works. Most often, however, the result was as much like real Chinese as the Moo Goo Gai Pan from your local takeout.

Lin has chosen a varied and eminently colorful program that includes many unfamiliar works–but no one can complain that this isn't one of the more engaging, intriguing, original, and entertaining piano recordings to come along in the past year. And pianist Lin is a wonderful musician, in total technical command of this long (nearly 80 minutes) and formidable program. And (as long as we're on the subject) she imbues the music with an enticing mix of variously scented spices that truly bring out the unique, if rarely authentic flavors of each composer's creation. As you might expect the pentatonic scale and its permutations are a ubiquitous presence, a feature that may have seemed merely curious a century ago but now comes off as more than a little cartoonish and hackneyed. But it still can be made charming and even pretty, as in Martinu's The Fifth Day of the Fifth Moon, or sensuous, as in the surprising, Debussyian Lotus Land by Cyril Scott. Morton Gould's Pieces of China is a kind of Pictures at an Exhibition for the Kodak age. The idiom is a hybrid of borrowings from popular music styles (especially jazz) and the Western composer's "do-it-yourself Chinese music fake book"–but it's an absolutely charming condensation of cliché and postcard images, from "The Great Wall" to "Puppets" to "Slow Dance-Lotus".

Other highlights include Anton Arensky's Étude sur un theme chinois Op. 25 No. 3, a great encore piece that whirls and swirls its way through four exciting minutes; Percy Grainger's Beautiful Fresh Flower, loaded to overflowing with open fourths and pentatonic melodies; John Adams' predictably busy-but-going-nowhere evocation of China Gates; and Albert Ketèlby's In a Chinese Temple Garden, complete with gong. The prize for most authentic goes to Alexander Tcherepnin's Five ('Chinese') Concert Études Op. 52. The composer not only lived in the Far East for nearly three years in the 1930s, but he married a young Chinese concert pianist, Lee Hsien-Ming, for whom the etudes were written. Inventive and artful in their use of real Chinese melodies and impressions of Chinese instruments, these pieces have been virtually ignored by pianists but, especially as Lin presents them, they also deserve serious attention by others. Lin's fluid legatos, skillfully calibrated dynamics, and polished rapid fingering technique really shine here.

In the "works that have Chinese names but nothing to do with China" category are Abram Chasins' Rush Hour in Hong Kong, which from the sound of it just as well could be San Francisco or London or any other city; Ferruccio Busoni's Turandots Frauengemach, which is based on the folk tale Turandot, but whose theme is the very English tune "Greensleeves" which, according to the excellent liner notes, Busoni mistakenly thought was Chinese; and Rossini's Petite Polka chinoise, in which amusingly you can hear lots of Chopin but virtually no chinoiserie. Lin plays this with knowing humor and understated flair.

Lin's Steinway benefits from an acoustic that complements and naturally captures its full range and character, from robust lows to ringing highs. This is a release that every piano enthusiast should own. Those looking for a quirky but unfailingly delightful visit to China will enjoy it too.

Review by David Vernier,

Jenny Lin - Chinoiserie (2000)


Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868)
[1] Petite Polka chinoise

Abram Chasins (1903-1987)
[2] Rush Hour in Hong Kong

Percy Grainger (1882-1961)
[3] Beautiful Fresh Flower

Anton Arensky (1861-1906)
[4] Étude sur en thème chinois

Alexander Tcherepnin (1899-1977)
[5]-[9] Five ('Chinese') Concert Études

Cyril Meir Scott (1879-1970)
[10] Lotus Land

Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924)
[11] Turandots Frauengemach

Morton Gould (1913-1996)
[12]-[17] Pieces of China

Jacqueline Waeber-Diaz (b.1967)
[18] Improvisation on a Chinese Folk Song

John Adams (b.1947)
[19] China Gates

Leo Ornstein (1895-2002)
[20] À la Chinoise

Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959)
[21] The Fifth Day of the Fifth Moon

Albert William Ketèlbey (1875-1959)
[22] In a Chinese Temple Garden

Exact Audio Copy V1.3 from 2. September 2016

EAC extraction logfile from 2. June 2018, 21:25

Jenny Lin / Chinoisere

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foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2018-06-06 15:08:28

Analyzed: Jenny Lin / Chinoisere

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
DR13 -1.95 dB -21.97 dB 5:12 01-Gioacchino Rossini: Petite Polka chinoise
DR11 -2.65 dB -19.89 dB 1:43 02-Abram Chasins: Rush Hour in Hong Kong
DR12 -7.21 dB -25.33 dB 1:47 03-Percy Grainger: Beautiful Fresh Flower
DR13 -3.01 dB -21.41 dB 4:09 04-Anton Arensky: Étude sur en thème chinois
DR12 -2.44 dB -19.24 dB 2:54 05-Alexander Tcherepnin: Five ('Chinese') Concert Études - 1. Shadow Play
DR11 -12.95 dB -30.26 dB 4:11 06-Alexander Tcherepnin: Five ('Chinese') Concert Études - 2. The lute
DR12 -2.60 dB -20.44 dB 2:19 07-Alexander Tcherepnin: Five ('Chinese') Concert Études - 3. Homage to China
DR12 -4.89 dB -22.01 dB 2:02 08-Alexander Tcherepnin: Five ('Chinese') Concert Études - 4. Punch and Judy
DR13 -2.07 dB -20.39 dB 6:50 09-Alexander Tcherepnin: Five ('Chinese') Concert Études - 5. Chant
DR15 -5.81 dB -28.14 dB 4:59 10-Cyril Meir Scott: Lotus Land
DR13 -3.74 dB -24.08 dB 4:05 11-Ferruccio Busoni: Turandots Frauengemach
DR14 -2.61 dB -25.08 dB 4:31 12-Morton Gould: Pieces of China - 1. The Great Wall
DR14 -6.54 dB -28.11 dB 2:41 13-Morton Gould: Pieces of China - 2. Fable
DR12 -5.38 dB -22.87 dB 1:38 14-Morton Gould: Pieces of China - 3. China Blue
DR14 -2.37 dB -24.49 dB 1:28 15-Morton Gould: Pieces of China - 4. Puppets
DR14 -13.02 dB -32.88 dB 2:41 16-Morton Gould: Pieces of China - 5. Slow Dance-Lotus
DR13 -1.58 dB -19.28 dB 3:06 17-Morton Gould: Pieces of China - 6. China Chips
DR12 -7.90 dB -25.94 dB 3:39 18-Jacqueline Waeber-Diaz: Improvisation on a Chinese Folk Song
DR10 -13.09 dB -27.26 dB 4:54 19-John Adams: China Gates
DR13 -2.91 dB -18.97 dB 5:16 20-Leo Ornstein: À la Chinoise
DR15 -4.01 dB -25.45 dB 3:27 21-Bohuslav Martinu: The Fifth Day of the Fifth Moon
DR13 -3.19 dB -22.37 dB 6:11 22-Albert Ketèlbey: In a Chinese Temple Garden

Number of tracks: 22
Official DR value: DR13

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 448 kbps
Codec: FLAC

Jenny Lin - Chinoiserie (2000)

All thanks to original releaser - A-Z

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