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Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, June 2015

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra under Darrell Ang does a respectable job bring these works to life. Long and Yi give us music well worth hearing, world-class orchestral music that goes its own way and reflects a melding of Asian and contemporary elements both convincing and at times quite exciting. © 2015 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Patrick Neas
The Kansas City Star, June 2015

This is thrilling, cinematic music that, although challenging at times, is always gripping. © 2015 The Kansas City Star Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2015

Music from two of today’s most highly regarded Chinese composers scored for conventional western symphony orchestra written during the past twelve years. The disc begins not in China but in Japan, with drumming music Zhou Long composed for a modern Japanese Taiko ensemble, though such drumming music also had roots in Chinese music back to the sixth century. It makes for a punchy score for full orchestra where pounding rhythms underline the melodic superstructure that is essentially in a tonality world. The two famous composers came together in the symphony Humen 1839, a work composed to mark the public burning of 1000 tons of opium in Human, the hoard having been seized from British traders, an event that sparked the British-Chinese conflict known as the First Opium War. It’s four colourfully orchestrated movements are ‘pictures’ related to that period of Chinese history, and are laid out in conventional western symphonic tradition its central movements being a scherzo and slow movement, and it is this latter Adagio tragico—depicting the suffering of the people—that stands out as particularly fine when surrounded by the Hollywood influenced outer movements. Zhou Long’s ability to orchestrate and to mix tonality, atonality and traditional Chinese sounds, that creates The Enlightenment, a reflection of Chinese philosophy of Peace, Light and Love. Without sight of the scores I can only comment that the playing of the New Zealand Symphony, under the much sought after young conductor, Darrell Ang, carries conviction, impact and many beautifully played solos… © 2015 David’s Review Corner

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