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Bruce Hodges
The Juilliard Journal Online, March 2013

The virtuoso playing is by violinist Kristin Lee…and the Metropolis Ensemble, led by Andrew Cyr.

The two concertos were recorded at Tanglewood’s Seiji Ozawa Hall by Charlie Post and Tim Martyn with a “you-are-there” feeling. Glimpses was engineered at Oktaven Audio in Yonkers by Ryan Streber…who did a handsome job capturing Fung’s unusual timbres. © 2013 The Julliard Journal Online Read complete review




Daniel Coombs
Audiophile Audition, February 2013

The Violin Concerto is particularly striking. There is an exotic, wispy and ephemeral quality to the writing in between some propulsive moments that I found quite appealing. It is a very nice piece, existing in a single movement, and soloist Kristin Lee plays quite well indeed.

Fung’s work for prepared piano, Glimpses, is…another very interesting work…a good one!

The Piano Concerto, “Dreamscapes” is…the strongest work in this collection and completely fascinating. Soloist Conor Hanick in both the Concerto and Glimpses does a great job!

The Metropolis Ensemble of New York and conductor Andrew Cyr are important up and coming contributors to the new music scene. I had never heard of Vivian Fung before but I am anxious to hear more. The fact that she is…a very creative and skilled composer is all I need to recommend this without hesitation. © 2013 Audiophile Audition Read complete review



Byzantion
MusicWeb International, February 2013

This latest release, three fine works by Chinese-Canadian Vivian Fung, is…formal orthodoxy, broadly tonal melody, exciting rhythms, splashes of exotica. Add to this the terrific playing heard here—especially by the two young soloists, both superb on their Naxos debuts in music that is mentally as well as physically demanding—and the result is a disc that is every inch a Canadian classic.

The opening Violin Concerto is a good introduction to Fung, offering an immediate vista of her understated but brilliant orchestration and her technically demanding but musically riveting writing for the violin.

A work for solo ‘prepared’ piano may seem an odd filling for a concerto sandwich, but Glimpses employs such a range of sounds in its three sections that the effect is almost orchestral…Fung’s writing is altogether more listener-friendly and decidedly less pretentious…never failing to keep the listener’s attention. © MusicWeb International Read complete review



Jack Sullivan
American Record Guide, January 2013

This is a cutting-edge album in the best sense, an invigorating indication of where we are in classical music. Fung’s music is fluid and seemingly improvisatory yet cunningly constructed. The Eastern and Western gestures blend so smoothly that they sound like one entity… © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online



Peter Grahame Woolf
Musical Pointers, January 2013

Exciting, skilfully put together music with many exoticisms… © 2013 Musical Pointers Read complete review



David Patrick Stearns
The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 2012

…Vivian Fung emerges as a fully evolved compositional voice in this recording…

Her Violin Concerto initially feels like a descendant of William Walton, with its tough, flinty harmonies and rhythmic drive. Soon, though, Fung is in her own more intimate, often pensive, but frequently playful sound world, which indeed lives up to the album’s title. Soloist Kristin Lee, locally heard in concerts presented by Astral Artists, outdoes herself with refined quality of sound and precision of expression.

…Glimpses is tuneful and fun…At every point in the disc, Fung has a strong sense of thematic control and structural overview that suggests more great things to come. © 2012 Philadelphia Inquirer Read complete review



Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, September 2012

Violinist Kristin Lee’s performance of the first concerto is technically brilliant. But what’s even more important, her sensitive phrasing and pacing give it emotional as well as intellectual appeal. A true champion of contemporary music, pianist Conor Hanick’s renditions of the other selections are equally spectacular. Also, considering the stigma sometimes associated with prepared pianos, he gets great credit for his artistic adventurousness and versatility.

Both soloists receive magnificent support from up-and-coming conductor Andrew Cyr and the Metropolis Ensemble. All its members not only turn in virtuosic performances, but faithfully follow their extracurricular instructions to the letter.

…all these recordings are demonstration quality, making this CD one of the most spectacular to come along in some time.

Brilliant orchestration featuring some exotic percussion, the unusual variety of sounds indigenous to prepared pianos, and the other Cageian devices present light up this disc like a Christmas tree! The instrumental timbre is characterized by crystal-clear highs, a musical midrange and low well-defined bass. Our soloists are perfectly placed and balanced against the ideally arrayed twenty-eight member Metropolis Ensemble. The Naxos recording engineers get a big gold star for this one! © 2012 Classical Lost and Found Read complete review



David Olds
The WholeNote, September 2012

Last month I also mentioned looking forward to the release of Vivian Fung’s Dreamscapes, the latest addition to the Naxos Canadian Classics line…and I am pleased to report that the disc lives up to my expectations. This new recording presents a sort of middle ground, with violin and piano concertos written for the Metropolis Ensemble…All three of the works presented here are based on gamelan motifs and melodies giving the disc a wonderful continuity. © 2012 The WholeNote Read complete review




Joshua Kosman
San Francisco Chronicle, September 2012

The Chinese Canadian composer Vivian Fung writes music infused with the sounds of Asian tradition…The scales and rhythms of Balinese and Javanese gamelan suffuse the three pieces represented here, and they lend the music a welcome lyricism and grace. Yet the further Fung strays from that stylistic foundation, the more fascinating and rewarding her music becomes. The…Violin Concerto that leads off the disc boasts a certain winsome charm, especially in the fluid performance of soloist Kristin Lee…To hear how much more Fung is capable of, go right to the final Piano Concerto, in a powerhouse rendition featuring soloist Conor Hanick. Here at last is music of dramatic urgency and depth, in which Fung draws on ideas from gamelan while also adding plenty of her own original material—clangorous, dissonant harmonies, off-kilter rhythms and a sense of wild unpredictability. © 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Read complete review






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