CD Review: DIGRESSIONS
My first encounter with Tony Chen Lin was in 2008 at Kerikeri’s International Piano Competition, in which he was awarded what I’ve always regarded as a “too close to call” second place to his friend Jun Bouterey-Ishido. Since then I’ve heard each of them some years afterwards give separate recitals in Wellington; and while appreciating the unique excellence of each, I’m still unable to pronounce either of them the other’s superior. Most recently I heard Lin perform at St.Andrew’s, which was less than a couple of years ago, in September of 2016 (the review can be read at the following link – http://middle-c.org/2016/09/tony-chen-lin-piano-evocations-visions-and-premonitions-in-st-andrews/ ), and two of the items he presented on that occasion are now included on this, his first CD, appearing on the Rattle Records label.
The CD’s overall title “Digressions” is borrowed from one of these two pieces, in fact Lin’s own composition. As its subtitle Meditation on R.S. suggests, the piece is a kind of reflection on Robert Schumann’s Humoreske, the work that concludes this recording’s programme. The opening tones of Lin’s piece seemed conjured out of the air, with ...continued