Composer: Koncz, Kreisler, Ponce, Bruch, Debussy, Gershwin, Scott
Performer: Ray Chen – violin
Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Robert Trevino
Number of Discs: 1 CD
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Bit Depth: 24bit / 96kHz
Number of channels: 2.0
Size: 986.9 MB
Scan: yes (PDF)
The Golden Age
Stephan Koncz (1984- ) / Erik Satie (1866-1925)
01. A New Satiesfaction (Gymnopédie No. 1)
Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962)
Manuel Ponce (1882-1948)
03. Estrellita (Arr. Heifetz)
Max Bruch (1838-1920): Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26
04. 1. Vorspiel (Allegro moderato)
05. 2. Adagio
06. 3. Finale (Allegro energico)
Claude Debussy (1862-1918): Suite bergamasque, L. 75
07. 3. Clair de lune (Arr. Koncz)
08. Schön Rosmarin
George Gershwin (1898-1937): Porgy and Bess
09. Porgy and Bess : Summertime (Arr. Heifetz)
Cyril Scott (1879-1970)
10. Lotus Land (Arr. Kreisler)
11. Waltzing Matilda (Arr. Koncz)
One of today’s most charismatic young violinists, Ray Chen, reveals his early-awaited new album The Golden Age – a thrilling collection of chamber and orchestral works. The album, set to release on June 8 via Decca Records/Universal Music Canada, the country’s leading music company, arrives as his first from Decca Classics since signing to the label last year.
Recognized as a musician of “phenomenal talent” by The Washington Post, Chen has handpicked a selection of works for his new album which celebrates the ‘golden age’ of the violin – not only in terms of repertoire, but also in performance style and ingenuity. The centrepiece is Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto which was recorded in August last year with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Robert Trevino.
The album opens with a piece for string quartet which has already garnered over 50,000 hits on Chen’s YouTube channel. Titled, “A New Satiesfaction”, it features “Gymnopédie No.1” by Erik Satie with an allusion to Rossini’s “William Tell Overture”. Performed by Chen and his Made in Berlin quartet, the arrangement of “A New Satiesfaction” is done by the group’s cellist, Stephan Koncz. The other violinist in the quartet is Noah Bendix-Balgley while Amihai Grosz plays viola. All of Chen’s collaborators in the group are members of the Berlin Philharmonic and they recorded together in the city last November.
The album also features compositions and arrangements by such legendary violinists as Fritz Kreisler and Jascha Heifetz, which Chen performs with pianist Julien Quentin. Among them are Kreisler’s “Syncopation and Schön Rosmarin” and Cyril Scott’s “Lotus Land”, plus Heifetz’s transcriptions of “Estrellita” by Manuel Ponce and George Gershwin’s “Summertime”. Stephan Koncz has also arranged Debussy’s Clair de lune and the traditional Australian favourite “Waltzing Matilda” (Ray hails from Australia and Taiwan).
Chen teased The Golden Age with a custom-built computer game: http://umusic.digital/goldenviolin/. “This album acknowledges the various styles of the past, but also retains one important philosophy: as long as we keep inspiring and producing, perhaps what we create now will one day be deemed worthy of being named a golden age,” says Chen.
Chen is among the most compelling young violinists today. He has performed with many of the world’s leading musicians in concert halls across the globe and he has also amassed a huge online following (including more than 2 million fans on SoundCloud) through quirky, self-made videos and engaging social media posts.
The line-up is madly varied, although you certainly get a lightning tour of different ways of playing the violin. Stephan Koncz’s arrangement of Debussy’s Clair de lune highlights Chen’s almost miraculous featherweight touch, which is whispered without sounding wispy.