Eastern Treasures: A Collection of Asian Folk Songs for Organ and Violin
Chelsea Chen, organ, Lewis Wong, violinArtist's Website
"Eastern Treasures" is an album that draws on Chen's active collaboration with violinist Lewis Wong. All of the music (except the final "bonus" track, the popular Arioso from Bach's Cantata, BWV 156) is based on Asian folk songs, many of them arranged by Chen. Works for organ solo, violin solo, and organ plus violin are included. One work, Chen's very brief Jasmine Fantasy, also includes a part for string orchestra (played by the Jakarta Simfonia Orchestra under the direction of Rebecca Tong). This is a pleasant and genial album that would appeal to anybody who enjoys Asian folk music. The heavily pentatonic sound world risks aural fatigue, but is mitigated by the variety of timbres involved. Wong and Chen are both excellent musicians who play together with skill and enthusiasm.