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Poets From The East / Evelyn Chang


Release Date: 07/14/2009 
Label:  Avie   Catalog #: 2168   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Alexander ScriabinMa Shui-LongDobrinka TabakovaLeonid Desyatnikov
Performer:  Evelyn Chang
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



POETS FROM THE EAST Evelyn Chang (pn) AVIE 2168 (71:56)


SCRIABIN Preludes, op. 11. DESYATNIKOV Echoes from the Theater. Ma SHUI-LONG A Sketch of the Rainy Harbour. TABAKOVA Nocturne. Modétudes

Read more /> Leonid Desyatnikov’s music is woefully under represented on CD, which is crazy, because it has immediate appeal and obvious quality. Born in 1955 and Leningrad-trained, Desyatnikov writes melodic music, with strong emotional force. It’s destined for wide popular success, as well as critical acclaim, if it gets the exposure in the West. Evelyn Chang’s recital closes with a suite of pieces from Desyatnikov’s film and theater music, each with a strong melodic hook. They even include a waltz “In Honor of Dickens.” These are nostalgic, wistful pieces in the main, and Chang balances feeling and detachment in just the right way.


She’s helped by her big technique, which comes in still handier for the Scriabin Preludes. Op. 11 is such an economical work, not much more than half an hour for all 24 pieces. They span an enormous range of moods, but have a unity of purpose, climaxing right at the very end: Scriabin’s best collection of emotional epigrams. Chang stresses the unity. She does not dwell for long on the slower preludes, and does not let rip in the fast ones, until that conclusion, which gets the full treatment and gives a sense of release. There are many good competitors, from the old Ponti and the fine Laredo versions, to the more expressively elaborate, but equally brilliant Piers Lane, on a first-choice Hyperion CD.


Bulgarian/British composer Dobrinka Tabakova is not yet 30. Her Modétudes are just as short as the Scriabin Preludes, but they use modal scales to build still more sharply characterized, melodic miniatures. The results can occasionally sound like Keith Jarrett (in the Aeolian study), but Tabakova is her own woman. The life and imagination of these works, written while she was still a teenager studying in London, are remarkable, and the strength carries through to the more recent Nocturne, written for Chang.


The pianist saves her most spectacular playing for the brief but attractive suite by Taiwanese composer Ma Shui-Long. He was born in 1939, and wrote A Sketch at the end of the 1960s. The final “At the Temple Gate” is a reaction to loud temple music, and draws great virtuosity and tonal variety from Chang. She’s from Taipei, and has it all: technique and sensitivity, beauty and brains. For the unique, beguiling new repertoire as much as for the playing, her Avie disc is recommended.


FANFARE: Paul Ingram
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Works on This Recording

1.
Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 11 by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Evelyn Chang (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1888-1896; Russia 
Venue:  St. George's, Bristol, UK 
Length: 26 Minutes 31 Secs. 
2.
Sketch of the Rainy Harbor, for piano by Ma Shui-Long
Performer:  Evelyn Chang (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1969 
Venue:  St. George's, Bristol, UK 
Length: 7 Minutes 37 Secs. 
3.
Nocturne, for piano by Dobrinka Tabakova
Performer:  Evelyn Chang (Piano)
Venue:  St. George's, Bristol, UK 
Length: 2 Minutes 29 Secs. 
4.
Modétudes, for piano by Dobrinka Tabakova
Performer:  Evelyn Chang (Piano)
Venue:  St. George's, Bristol, UK 
Length: 8 Minutes 36 Secs. 
5.
From Kashchey's Life, for piano by Leonid Desyatnikov
Performer:  Evelyn Chang (Piano)
Venue:  St. George's, Bristol, UK 
Length: 2 Minutes 14 Secs. 
6.
Jamais, elegy for piano by Leonid Desyatnikov
Performer:  Evelyn Chang (Piano)
Venue:  St. George's, Bristol, UK 
Length: 3 Minutes 47 Secs. 
7.
Rondeau-chase, for piano by Leonid Desyatnikov
Performer:  Evelyn Chang (Piano)
Venue:  St. George's, Bristol, UK 
Length: 1 Minutes 38 Secs. 
8.
In Honour of Dickens, waltz for piano by Leonid Desyatnikov
Performer:  Evelyn Chang (Piano)
Venue:  St. George's, Bristol, UK 
Length: 5 Minutes 7 Secs. 
9.
Nocturne, for piano by Leonid Desyatnikov
Performer:  Evelyn Chang (Piano)
Venue:  St. George's, Bristol, UK 
Length: 3 Minutes 42 Secs. 
10.
Credit Titles, for piano by Leonid Desyatnikov
Performer:  Evelyn Chang (Piano)
Venue:  St. George's, Bristol, UK 
Length: 4 Minutes 13 Secs. 

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