- 16 April, 2007
- 9 Comments
A couple of weeks ago, David Toub reviewed for Sequenza21 the new Naxos recording of Huang Ruo’s Chamber Concerto Cycle, a set of pieces performed back in 2003 at the Miller Theatre here in New York. For Toub, while the pieces demonstrate Huang’s skills as a “synthesist” who “melds together many disparate styles and influences,” they do not give a sense of what Huang is trying to say as a composer.
Judging from his comments in The New York Times last Saturday, I think Huang would argue that the eclecticism in his music is not a means to an artistic end but is a central part of his music and his identity as a composer.
In the article by Allan Kozinn, who was previewing the composer’s Cello Concerto premiere last Saturday, Huang talks about how the influx of different music–from Bach to Michael Jackson–to China in the late 1980s shaped an aesthetic outlook in which “there are no differences, no hierarchy.” Kozinn also mentions that Huang’s father, who encouraged his son to follow a career in music, was himself a film composer, a genre that demands a keen understanding of how musical snippets can be juxtaposed or combined to connote different emotions and situations.
For those of you interested in hearing more from this Naxos CD, there are clips on The New York Times web site, on Naxos.com, and on Amazon.com. I’d be interested to get comments on the music but also on whether this type of eclecticism can stand on its own. I have own thoughts but I’m getting tired of typing. I’d rather hear from you.