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<<  -- 2 --  Ron Bierman    HEARTFELT MELODIES


An Angel From Formosa, is a much shorter tone poem. It too is sugary and hard to take seriously, though its innocence may produce a contented, appreciative smile if you're in a receptive mood.

The most recent compositions in this set are the three concertos, and they make the best impression. Those for piano and violin [listen -- CD 2 track 4, 0:01-1:19] are in conventional three-movement form as was the cello concerto when first written. The composer subsequently removed its middle section leaving the present two-movement piece. I believe any of the concertos would please an audience. They are old-fashioned and appeal almost exclusively to the emotions rather than the intellect, but they are filled with heartfelt melodies. The cello concerto is especially tuneful and Hsiao appreciates that instrument's sonority [listen -- CD 2 track 1, 12:39-14:20].

Performances sound committed, though perhaps under rehearsed. It's unusual to hear a recorded piano as out of tune as the one used in the 1947 Overture and a few leaps are less than precise in the violin concerto. These flaws are far from fatal and I recommend the release for the neo-romantics among us because of the concertos. I will be returning to them with pleasure. Those seeking intellectual challenges or exciting new sounds will be disappointed and should seek thornier pastures than are available in Hsiao's vision of Taiwan.

Copyright © 22 June 2005 Ron Bierman, San Diego, USA


Tyzen Hsiao

CD-9912/13 Stereo (2 CDs) 69'29"/58'18" - TT 127'47" 2003 Angelok1 Records

Anatoly Sheludyakov, piano; Kirill Rodin, cello; Alexander Trostiansky, violin; Moscow State Chorus; Vladimir Kontarev, chorus master; Russian Federal Orchestra; Vakhtang Jordania, conductor

Tyzen Hsiao (born 1938): 1947 Overture; Piano Concerto in C minor Op 53; Symphony 'Formosa' Op 49; Cello Concerto in C Op 52; An Angel From Formosa; Violin Concerto in D Op 50


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