Exotic sounds from the Far East.
Pipa, koto, sheng and shō; all exotic instruments that have come over from China and Japan. And it’s not only composers from the Far East that have honoured and been inspired by the rich sounds of the pipa (Chinese lute) or the shō (Japanese mouth organ), it’s western composers as well. Sometimes the composer finds an unprecedented, melodic sparkle, other times a meditative atmosphere prevails.
In today’s Theme episode, you can listen to works by Somei Satoh, John Cage, Shih-Hui Chen and Terry Riley. Listen for example to an exotic version of Terry Riley’s key work ‘In C’ for Chinese orchestra
1. Lou Harrison: ‘Troika’ from ‘Concerto for Pipa with String Orchestra’ (1997), op Lou Harrison: For Strings. The New Professionals Orchestra led by Rebecca Miller, with Wu Man (pipa). Mode Records 140 CD
2. Shih-Hui Chen (pictured): ‘Concerto for Pipa and Chamber Orchestra’, (2002), op Shih-Hui Chen: Silvergrass & other orchestral works. National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra led by Yao-Yu Wu, with Wu Man (pipa). New World Records 80807-2 CD
3. Shih-Hui Chen: ‘Fantasia on the Theme of Guanglingsan, for sheng and Chinese orchestra’, (2014), op Shih-Hui Chen: Silvergrass & other orchestral works. Little Giant Chinese Orchestra and Hsin-Fang Hsu (sheng). New World Records 80807-2CD
4. Somei Satoh: ‘Sanyo (Sun)’ (1991) voor koto en shakuhachi, op Somei Satoh: Sun-Moon. Akikazu Nakamura (shakuhachi) + Shin Miyashita (koto). New Albion NA069 CD
5. Terry Riley: ‘Buddha’s Bedroom’ from ‘The Cusp of Magic’ (2004), for string quartet and pipa. Kronos Quartet + Wu Man (pipa). Nonesuch 360508-2 CD
6. Terry Riley: ‘In C’ (1964) for Chinese orchestra, op Terry Riley – In C. Shanghai Film Orchestra led by Wang Yongji. Celestial Harmonies 13026-2 CD
7. John Cage: ‘Two (4)’ (1991), for sho and violin, op John Cage: Two, Five and Seven. Mayumi Miyata (sho) + Josje ter Haar (violin). HatArt 2-6192 CD