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Benjamin, Carter, Chen, Mackey & Ruders

Steven Mackey: Ground Swell (2007) for solo viola and ensemble Hsin-Yun Huang, viola American Modern Ensemble/Steven Mackey, conductor

Poul Ruders: Romances (2011) Hsin-Yun Huang, viola Sarah Rothenberg, piano
George Benjamin: Viola, Viola (1996) Hsin-Yun Huang, viola Misha Amory, viola
Elliott Carter: Figment IV (2004) Hsin-Yun Huang, viola

Hsin-Hui Chen: Remembrance (2005) Hsin-Yun Huang, viola Evergreen Symphony Orchestra/ Gernot Schmalfuss

Hsin-Yun Huang, viola


Hsin-Yun Huang came to England from Taiwan at fourteen to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School, and has gone on to become a distinguished violist based in USA, dedicated to her instrument's emancipation.

This is a gorgeous disc of unfamiliar music, assembled to demonstrate that the viola is "not a bigger violin, not a smaller cello", but with a burgeoning repertoire of its own.

On this overview, each piece is for a different combination, from solo, via duets with her violist husband, to a work for viola and full orchestra.

These are well chosen and sequenced, and all excellently recorded, with notes by Hsin-Yun herself that help to personalise the project.

Recommended warmly.

Peter Grahame Woolf