Noted biographer Benjamin Ivry recently published a short piece on the fantastic violinist Cho-Liang Lin. Cho-Liang Lin has appeared on a couple of Delos releases, and most recently was involved with the album Spirit of Chimes featuring the composer Zhou Long. In the Ivry piece on Cho-Liang Lin, Lin speaks about how great it is to know Zhou Long and his wife (also a fantastic composer) Chen Yi, and what a difference it makes in musical interpretation.
Take the married couple of superbly gifted composers, Chen Yi and Zhou Long, whose music Lin has magisterially recorded for the Bis and Delos labels, respectively. Of the couple, both of whom were born in China in 1953, Lin says with amusement; “They’re polar opposites. [Chen Yi] is very bubbly and outgoing, while Zhou Long is very much the philosopher, with pipe in hand.” Lin adds that Zhou Long’s Secluded Orchid (found on Spirit of Chimes), which is on the Delos CD label, is a “very philosophical piece, whereas Chen Yi is very urbane, eager to engage in all things that are current, and can compose anywhere, on an airplane, in a hotel room, or on the bus, while Zhou Long must be at home, at his desk, to write. The two are a wonderful couple; I love talking to them together, and usually Chen Yi does all the talking.” Their music is also captivating, Lin continues, describing Zhou Long’s scores as “very colorful, very evocative…a little of Messiaen, a little Prokofiev but very beautifully atmospheric.”
Cho-Liang Lin has also appeared on Delos with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, notably the Mendelssohn Octet and Sextet. About a year ago, the CMSLC’s Mendelssohn CD (DE 3266) won first place in BBC Radio 3’s comparison of all recorded performances of these Mendelssohn works.