This recording showcases both the rich variety and the sonic surprises to be heard in contemporary Chinese piano music. Myth and landscape loom large. Pulitzer Prize-winner Zhou Long’s Pianobells takes legend as its inspiration in an evocation of sonorous bells borne on the wind. For Doming Lam the goal is reinterpreting Chinese ancient melodies and imitating gongs and drums to evoke the atmosphere of Chinese opera. For Grammy Award winner Tan Dun, his Eight Memories are a ‘diary of longing’ – musical watercolours inspired by folk music.
One of the best kept secrets in film music is out! World premiere release of never-used Michael Small score for highly-praised, then-timely thriller directed by James Bridges, starring Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas, Jack Lemmon. Tense tale of nuclear plant disaster played incredibly well without any dramatic scoring, but original intent was to have Small add suspense, excitement to grim & eerie proceedings. Small offers terse ideas, keeps pace with pending disaster, then unleashes sensational action cue with "Meltdown!" sequence. While multi-track elements have vanished, Sony fortunately vaulted mono safety copies of entire sessions. Engineering slates and paperwork allowed us to recreate Small's original picture intent as well. Also included is "bonus" section of Small's original source music, used for various TV bumpers (Fonda & Douglas are TV reporters). Michael Small conducts. Intrada Special Collection release limited to 1000 copies!
Vangelis uses ringing synthesizer textures and stately rhythms to evoke the majesty of China, in a similar fashion to another of his "geography" works, Antarctica. While a few tracks use acoustic piano and other organic instruments, the centerpieces "Chung Kuo," "The Dragon" and "Himalaya" use bracing percussion and synthesizer effects to emphasize the subjects (each reflected by its title).