Gillian Whitehead: Arapatiki.
Steve De Pledge (piano), etc.
Arapatiki was commissioned by De Pledge as one of a
series of landscape preludes. It was first performed in
London (2004) but this is a 2011 recording. Its title means
''the way of the flounder'', being the name of sand flats
near the Dunedin composer's house at Harwood. The music
advances and retreats like tides, and opens with a bellbird
(korimako) song. Four longer works employ voice, and small
instrumental groups. Camelot, with poems by Glenn
Colquhoun, and Three Windows on the Weather (poems by
Greg O'Brien) were previously released in 2010. Hine Te
Kakara is a new version of the lament and Nga Ha O
Nehera, written for bassoonist Ben Hoadley, is a first
Highlights: Suite for solo bassoon; composer's notes on all
The Butterfly Lovers, The Yellow River.
Chen Jie (piano), NZ Symphony Orchestra.
Chen Jie, a talented and dynamic Chinese pianist, is soloist
for these two piano concertos with the NZSO (conductor
Carolyn Kuan, known for her expertise in Asian music and
contemporary works). The Yellow River is one of the
most popular Chinese works, based on Yellow River
Cantata, by Xian Xinghai, that dated from the
Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). It is highly patriotic, with
solo piano arpeggios depicting the waves of the river, while
thundering chords announce the triumph of victory. Telling a
tragic love story like Romeo and Juliet, The
Butterfly Lovers violin concerto is successfully arranged
for piano and orchestra by Chen Gang, one of its joint
composers, and brilliantly played by Ms Chen.
Highlights: Fingers float like butterflies; also
thunder on the piano.