Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez is the most celebrated classical guitar work of the 20th century, music that conjures up the color, sophistication and glories of eternal Spain. The founding father of Mexican music, Manuel Ponce, wrote his Concierto del sur for Segovia, and it is a work of vivid grandeur, Sevillian dances and melodic richness. To complete the programme, prize-winning international virtuoso Junhong Kuang plays a piece dedicated to him – Gerald Garcia’s China Sings! – a rhapsody inspired by two popular Chinese tunes. Darrell Ang is the artistic director and chief conductor of China’s Sichuan Symphony since December 2016. He regularly conducts the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, ‘Giuseppe Verdi’ Symphony Orchestra, Munich Radio Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony and at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. Darrell Ang received a GRAMMY Award nomination for his Naxos debut recording of Symphony ‘Humen 1839’ by Zhou Long and Chen Yi (8.570611). His most recent albums feature Kabalevsky’s First and Second Symphonies (8.573859) and d’Indy’s incidental music Médée (8.573858), among others.
Gramophone Magazine October 2020
Players will often lean towards either neoclassical coolness or flamenco-inflected passion. The brilliant young guitarist Junhong Kuang is somewhat in the former camp and brings the excellent Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice and conductor Darrell Ang along with him. This is an account of great clarity, precision and – perhaps unintended but enjoyable all the same – Stravinskian objectivity and irony.