Review: Orchestra 2001 presents an Asian buffet

Cho-Liang Lin
Philadelphia Inquirer

By David Patrick Stearns

"The wildest card was the brand-new violin concerto Spring Reflections by Taiwanese composer May-Tchi Chen. Like Augusta Read Thomas, Chen almost seems like a card-carrying modernist, with uncompromising density and allusions to the natural world that seem to be more embedded in the compositional process than in any superficial description. Though I have no problem following the likes of Elliott Carter, Chen threw out more information than I could take in, which made Orchestra 2001's performance under James Freeman valiant, to say the least.

Amid such musical thickets, soloist Cho-Liang Lin was a beacon of musical charisma, his unmistakably husky violin tone constantly drawing in your ear just as you were ready to declare defeat amid this high-velocity piece. For an encore, he gamely played some oriental kitsch, Fritz Kreisler's "Tambourin Chinois" - immensely enjoyable, and played with a humor and dash that show there's still plenty of heat in those 55-year-old fingers."

Read the full review here.