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The composer Unsuk Chin is one of the most vibrant voices in contemporary music. Since 2005, the Berliner Philharmoniker have enjoyed a rewarding collaboration with the Korean-born composer, whose music captivates with its sheer infinite variety of creative sounds. This edition presents outstanding recordings of Chin’s solo and orchestral works with Myung-Whun Chung, Daniel Harding, Sakari Oramo and Sir Simon Rattle.

Unsuk Chin’s music is a magical realm: new perspectives constantly open up, sometimes there are labyrinths of innovative sounds and complex structures, then again moments of otherworldly beauty. Her astounding ingenuity, which traverses different cultural spheres, gives each work an individual character. In the process, the composer explores the limits of playing technique. All this makes the encounter with Chin’s music for the Berliner Philharmoniker a “continuous adventure” and an exciting voyage of discovery which our edition would like to take you on.

The Violin Concerto, performed by Christian Tetzlaff and Simon Rattle, was inspired by Balinese gamelan music. Here, violin and orchestra partly merge into a collective solo instrument. The Cello Concerto with soloist and idea provider Alban Gerhardt is of a completely different nature – “the focus here is on a rival tension between soloist and orchestra”, according to Chin. Her Le silence des Sirènes for soprano and orchestra is a vocal tightrope act. Soprano Barbara Hannigan performs the texts based on Homer’s Odyssey and James Joyce’s Ulysses with staggering virtuosity.

The title of the orchestral work Rocaná, conducted by Daniel Harding, comes from Sanskrit and means “room of light”. Chin here translates an aesthetic experience from the visible into the audible. The Berliner Philharmoniker have special memories of the performance of Chorós Chordón: Simon Rattle conducted the commissioned work on their last joint tour of Asia in China, Korea and Japan. No less memorable was the evening when Chin’s Piano Concerto with Sunwook Kim and Sakari Oramo was performed: for the first time after a hiatus due to the pandemic, the orchestra was again able to play in front of an audience in the main auditorium of the Philharmonie Berlin.

In addition to the recordings on two CDs and a Blu-ray plus a bonus film, the hardcover edition features an attractively designed accompanying book with moiré effect art by Takahiro Kurashima. Introductions to the works are complemented by a detailed essay about the composer and her work.

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