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World Keys - Bolcom, Chen, Liszt, Prokofiev / Joel Fan


Release Date: 06/13/2006 
Label:  Reference Recordings   Catalog #: 106   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ahmed Adnan SaygunSergei ProkofievDia SuccariHalim El-Dabh,   ... 
Performer:  Joel Fan
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

We have here 10 works from 10 nationalities. Joel Fan’s program does, to a large extent, exude an international flavor, with music from Asia and Europe, and two representatives from the New World. The ultimate conceit of this album, no doubt, is to show off the fancy fingerwork of Fan, a brilliant young talent indeed. Not that this is all virtuoso work; a good deal of it requires a delicate and elegant manner, which Fan delivers with an easy grace. What is most interesting when hearing a mix such as this, especially in the music from our time, is the way in which stylistic influences travel in a circular pattern. For example, the music of Dia Succari, a native of Syria, oozes with Debussy-like sensuality, but Debussy derived much of his Read more musical language from Asian influences. Qigang Chen’s music may be inspired by the instruments of the traditional Chinese opera, and he uses idiomatic pentatonic motifs, but there is an energy and jazzy syncopation that nods vigorously to the West. This kind of cultural ping-pong produces music of exceptionally rich texture and flavor.

Not all of the music here follows this pattern. The biggest work, the Schumann Sonata, is proffered as a representative of German music. To my ears, it is representative of nothing other than Schumann, one of the most original musical minds in history. To a lesser degree, the same can be said about the Prokofiev, who is also more sui generis than he is merely Russian. Liszt is rarely thought of as a Hungarian nationalist composer, and the inclusion of his paraphrase of a famous Italian opera scene does nothing to advance any such notion. There is also lovely, cosmopolitan music from William Bolcom, Peter Schulthorpe, and Peteris Vasks, but I am at a loss to hear anything uniquely American, Australian, or Latvian in these works.

So don’t buy this CD expecting a full-blown international tour of musical styles. But if you think you might enjoy a highly eclectic, invigorating recital, played with terrific style by a superb young pianist, snatch it up. As expected, Professor Johnson and his Reference Recordings colleagues deliver fleshy, gleaming piano sound.

FANFARE: Peter Burwasser
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sketches (10) for Piano on Aksak Rhythms, Op. 58: no 10 - Pentatonic theme by Ahmed Adnan Saygun
Performer:  Joel Fan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1976; Turkey 
Venue:  Bayside Performing Arts Center, San Mate 
Length: 1 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Notes: Bayside Performing Arts Center, San Mateo, CA (01/26/2006 - 01/28/2006) 
2.
Sonata for Piano no 3 in A minor, Op. 28 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Joel Fan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907/1917; Russia 
Venue:  Bayside Performing Arts Center, San Mate 
Length: 7 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Notes: Bayside Performing Arts Center, San Mateo, CA (01/26/2006 - 01/28/2006) 
3.
La Nuit du Destin by Dia Succari
Performer:  Joel Fan (Piano)
Written: 1978; Syria 
Venue:  Bayside Performing Arts Center, San Mate 
Length: 10 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Notes: Bayside Performing Arts Center, San Mateo, CA (01/26/2006 - 01/28/2006) 
4.
Mekta' in the Art of Kita': Sayera by Halim El-Dabh
Performer:  Joel Fan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955; USA 
Venue:  Bayside Performing Arts Center, San Mate 
Length: 1 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Notes: Bayside Performing Arts Center, San Mateo, CA (01/26/2006 - 01/28/2006) 
5.
Instants d'un opera de Pekin by Qi-gang Chen
Performer:  Joel Fan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2000 
Venue:  Bayside Performing Arts Center, San Mate 
Length: 6 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Notes: Bayside Performing Arts Center, San Mateo, CA (01/26/2006 - 01/28/2006) 
6.
Paraphrase on Quartet from Verdi's "Rigoletto", S 434 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Joel Fan (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  Bayside Performing Arts Center, San Mate 
Length: 6 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Notes: Bayside Performing Arts Center, San Mateo, CA (01/26/2006 - 01/28/2006) 
7.
Bagatelles (9) for Piano: ...la belle rouquine by William Bolcom
Performer:  Joel Fan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1996; USA 
Venue:  Bayside Performing Arts Center, San Mate 
Length: 1 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Notes: Bayside Performing Arts Center, San Mateo, CA (01/26/2006 - 01/28/2006) 
8.
Nocturnal for Piano no 2 by Peter Sculthorpe
Performer:  Joel Fan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1983-1989; Australia 
Venue:  Bayside Performing Arts Center, San Mate 
Length: 6 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Notes: Bayside Performing Arts Center, San Mateo, CA (01/26/2006 - 01/28/2006) 
9.
Sonata for Piano no 2 in G minor, Op. 22 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Joel Fan (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833-1838; Germany 
Venue:  Bayside Performing Arts Center, San Mate 
Length: 18 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Notes: Bayside Performing Arts Center, San Mateo, CA (01/26/2006 - 01/28/2006) 
10.
Kantate by Peteris Vasks
Performer:  Joel Fan (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1980; Latvia 
Venue:  Bayside Performing Arts Center, San Mate 
Length: 5 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Notes: Bayside Performing Arts Center, San Mateo, CA (01/26/2006 - 01/28/2006) 

Sound Samples

10 Sketches on Aksak Rhythms, Op. 58: Sketch No. 10 (Turkey)
Piano Sonata No. 3 in A minor, Op. 28: (Russia)
Lu Nuit du Destin (The Night of Destiny): (Syria)
Mekta' in the Art of Kita, Book 3: Sayera (Egypt)
Instants d'un Opera de Pekin (2004 version): Instants d'un Opera de Pekin (China)
Verdi - Rigoletto: Paraphrase de concert, S434/R267: (Hungary)
9 Bagatelles: No. 5. La belle rouqine (USA)
Nocturnal: (Australia)
Piano Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22: I. So rasch wir moglich
Piano Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22: II. Andantino
Piano Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22: III. Scherzo
Piano Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22: IV. Rondo
Kantate: (Latvia)

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