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Qigang Chen

Born in 1951, Qigang Chen was a teenager studying music at the Central Conservatory in Beijing when the Cultural Revolution broke out in 1966. Despite three years of ‘ideological re-education’, he remained determined to pursue a musical career. The state reopened the conservatory in 1977; Chen underwent a further five years of study there before winning a postgraduate scholarship to travel abroad in 1983. He became Olivier Messiaen’s last and only student in Paris, from 1984–88. Messiaen described Chen’s compositions as showing "real inventiveness, very great talent and a total assimilation of Chinese thinking with European musical concepts."

CHEN, Qigang: Enchantements oubliés / Er Huang / Un temps disparu
Qigang CHEN (b. 1951)
Enchantements oubliés
Er Huang* • Un temps disparu**

Chun-Chieh Yen, Piano*
Jie-Min Yan, Erhu**
Taiwan Philharmonic, NSO
Shao-Chia Lü

Qigang Chen is one of the most prominent Chinese composers working today, whose music has been commissioned and performed by leading orchestras and musicians around the world. Er Huang, commissioned by Carnegie Hall, is based on a number of melodies from Peking operas, nostalgically recollected, while the unusual structure of Enchantements oubliés explores a journey into the essence of beauty. Un temps disparu features the erhu, a two-stringed Chinese fiddle, and makes use of an ancient Chinese melody called Three Variations on the Plum Blossom.

Listen to an extract from Er Huang,
for piano solo and orchestra

About the Artists
Shao-Chia Lü
Shao-Chia Lü, music director of the Taiwan Philharmonic since August 2010 and principal conductor of the South Denmark Philharmonic since 2014, studied in Taipei, at Indiana University and the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, going on to win first prize at renowned conducting competitions in Besançon, Trento and Amsterdam. He has appeared as guest conductor for the major opera houses of Berlin, Sydney, Brussels, Oslo and Stuttgart, and for orchestras throughout Europe and Asia.
Jiemin Yan
The erhu artist Jiemin Yan is currently a professor at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China, where she studied erhu and composition under Guotong Wang and Zhenmin Xu. She is a well-known guest artist not only in China, but also on the international music scene. She has a number of solo albums to her credit and has given numerous recitals in Asia, Europe, North America and Australia.
Chun-Chieh Yen
Pianist Chun-Chieh Yen has performed throughout Europe, Asia, and America. He won third prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in St Petersburg (1997), first prize at the 4th Hamamatsu International Academy Piano Competition in Japan (1999), and third prize at the 4th Prokofiev International Competition in St Petersburg (2004). He is currently Assistant Professor of Piano at the National Taiwan Normal University.
Taiwan Philharmonic
Founded in 1986, the Taiwan Philharmonic, also known as the National Symphony Orchestra, is hailed as one of the leading orchestras in the Asian region. The 99-member Taiwan Philharmonic became the resident orchestra of the National Concert Hall and an artistic affiliate of the National Performing Arts Center in April 2014. Since August 2010, Shao-Chia Lü has been music director of the Taiwan Philharmonic.
Other releases in the Naxos Chinese Classics Series
GUAN, Xia: Symphony No. 2, "Hope" / Gazing at the Stars / Sorrowful Dawn
Nuremberg Symphony, En Shao

The music of renowned Chinese composer Xia Guan has been received with acclaim in Moscow, Vienna, Tokyo and New York. The solemn first movement of Earth Requiem, a commemoration of the devastating 2008 Sichuan earthquake, is heard here in an orchestral version that depicts ‘the suffering people who gaze upwards’. The epic Symphony No. 2 ‘Hope’ is a reflection upon the co-existence of good and evil in mankind, agony and hope, in music of considerable breadth and increasing warmth. Heroic drama animates the vividly scored Symphonic Ballade, which draws on the music of Guan’s opera Sorrowful Dawn, the story of China’s War of Liberation following the end of World War Two.

Listen to an extract from Symphony No. 2 'Hope':
Warmth: Adagio

GE, Gan-Ru: String Quartets No. 1, "Fu", No. 4, "Angel Suite" and No. 5,
"Fall of Baghdad"

“On every front, this is a magnificent disc. The music is outstanding and deserves the widest possible audience. The performances from ModernWorks, a New York-based quartet specializing, as their name suggests, in the performance of contemporary works, are absorbing and delivered with tangible intensity and involvement. The Naxos recording is of the highest order.”
International Record Review
MA, Sicong: Music for Violin and Piano, Vol. 1
Hsiao-Mei Ku, Ning Lu
“Highly recommended; the music is lyrical, warm and approachable, and sometimes even exquisite.”
Fine Music ★★★★
MA, Sicong: Music for Violin and Piano, Vol. 2
Hsiao-Mei Ku, Ning Lu
“As in the case of the first volume, this one can be recommended generally—but especially to those who wish to explore Chinese violin music more thoroughly—and especially for those pieces written in a more abstract style.”
ZHOU, Long: Su / Pianogongs / Taiping Drum / Wild Grass / Taigu Rhyme / CHEN, Yi: Monologue / Chinese Ancient Dances
Beijing New Music Ensemble
“These works are challenging and emotionally rich, and require no special pleading. Anyone interested in the continuing evolution of Chinese culture needs to give this excellent CD a listen.”
CHEN, Jie: Chinese Piano Favourites
“Jie Chen plays this music charmingly, and with a bright and clean sound.”
Classical Net

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