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Chloe's sophomore album: Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto & Paganini

24 June 2024 - PENTATONE releases Butterfly Lovers & Paganini, together with Chloe Chua, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Rodolfo Barráez, Mario Venzago, in July 2024.

Photo: Joel Low/Singapore Symphony

Rising star violinist Chloe Chua presents a recording combining Chen Gang and He Zhanhao’s Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto with Niccolò Paganini’s First Violin Concerto, performed together with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Rodolfo Barráez and Mario Venzago.

Exhilarating Violin Concertos from East to West

The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto was written in 1959, and inspired by a tale often called the ‘Romeo & Juliet’ of ancient China. Chen and He deftly combine a Western classical idiom with elements from Chinese opera, such as grace notes and portamento effects, and the work has become one of the most famous and acclaimed pieces of Chinese classical music. This album also features an interpretation of Chen Gang’s Sunshine over Tashkurgan, which adds Central-Asian maqam to the stylistic palette. The programme concludes with Paganini’s First Violin Concerto, musically inspired by Rossinian bel canto. The three works share a richness of melodic invention and orchestral colours, as well as breathtaking virtuosic demands for the soloist. The solo parts are in excellent hands with Chloe Chua, who admires the steadfast love and perseverance of the Butterfly Lovers and feels fully at home in these evocative and exhilarating masterpieces.

Chloe Chua and the Singapore Symphony return to PENTATONE after their acclaimed recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Locatelli’s Labirinto armonico (2023).

“The Butterfly Lovers Concerto was one of my grand uncle’s favourite concertos. Years ago, I heard an excerpt played by one of his grandchildren at a family gathering, which left a deep impression on me. While learning the piece, I discovered how the Butterfly Lovers’ story has endured through many retellings across the ages in many different mediums, from ink to screen to music. Not only was I deeply moved by the steadfast love of the couple, and Zhu Yingtai’s courageous resistance against the customs of feudal society, I was also touched by the heart-wrenching story that unfolds through the violin concerto by Chen Gang and He Zhanhao.” - Chloe Chua

Digital Release date: 26 July 2024

Physical (CD) Release: July 2024

The CD album can be purchased directly from Pentatone or from the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

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