The intersection of Chinese cultural elements with Western art music provides a rich palette of Eastern colors in this first commercial recording of music for clarinet and piano by well-known Chinese composers. The composers on this recording were born in China, but have all studied and worked in the West. Chinese-American clarinetist, Jun Qian, has shared similar experiences with these composers and his performances show a deep understanding of Chinese culture and Western musical ideas. Dr. Qian, now on the faculty at Baylor University is principal clarinet for the Waco Symphony Orchestra. He was a professor of clarinet at St. Olaf College and served as principal clarinet of the Shanghai Philharmonic. Among his many honors, Qian was the featured soloist at the International Performing Arts Festival in Japan in 2004. Qian studied at Baylor University and the Eastman School, where he received his Masters and D.M.A. He is joined on this recording by a former colleague from St. Olaf College, pianist Kent McWilliams who previously taught at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.
"... As the title of the release suggests, the confluence of both American and Chinese culture is palpable, whether the music is abstract or accessible, and interested clarinetists will find a few gems for the next recital. Quian ... has nice phrasing, excellent fingers, and allring soft playing ... McWilliams is a consummate professional, boasting a beautiful touch and superb technique, and he infuses each score with sincerity, colourful dynamics, and expert pedal work. Hong matches her compositional prowess with a delightful performance on the pipa, and both Anderegg and Carter are solid in their supporting roles.
Patrick Hanudel - American Record Guide - May/June 2013