RAY CHEN UNVEILS HIS EAGERLY-AWAITED DEBUT DECCA ALBUM ‘THE GOLDEN AGE’
Release Date: 8 June 2018
Charismatic young violinist Ray Chen reveals his early-awaited new album ‘The Golden Age’ – a thrilling collection of chamber and orchestral works – will be released on 8th June. It is his first recording on Decca Classics since signing to the label last year.
A musician of “phenomenal talent” (Washington Post), Ray Chen has handpicked a selection of works for his new album which celebrate the ‘golden age’ of the violin – not only in terms of repertoire, but also in performance style and ingenuity. The centrepiece is Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto, performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Robert Trevino and recorded in August last year.
The album opens with a piece for string quartet which has already garnered over 50,000 hits on Ray’s YouTube channel – it’s called A New Satiesfaction and it features Gymnopédie No.1 by Erik Satie, with an allusion to Rossini’s William Tell Overture. It is performed by Ray and his Made in Berlin quartet, and the arrangement is by the group’s cellist Stephan Koncz. The other violinist in the quartet is Noah Bendix-Balgley while Amihai Grosz plays viola. All of Ray’s collaborators in the group are members of the Berlin Philharmonic and they recorded together in the city last November.
The album also features compositions and arrangements by such legendary violinists as Fritz Kreisler and Jascha Heifetz, which Ray performs with pianist Julien Quentin. Among them are Kreisler’s Syncopation and Schön Rosmarin, as well as his version of Cyril Scott’s Lotus Land, plus there are Heifetz’s transcriptions of Estrellita by Manuel Ponce and George Gershwin’s Summertime. Stephan Koncz has also arranged Debussy’s Clair de lune and the traditional Australian favourite Waltzing Matilda (Ray hails from Australia and Taiwan).
Ray Chen is among the most compelling young violinists today. He has performed with many of the world’s leading musicians in concert halls across the globe and he has also amassed a huge online following (including more than 2 million fans on SoundCloud) through quirky, self-made videos and engaging social media posts.
Teasing his new album with a custom-built computer game, Ray promises to delight and amuse with his inventive and exciting new album, ‘The Golden Age’. As Ray says, “This album acknowledges the various styles of the past, but also retains one important philosophy: as long as we keep inspiring and producing, perhaps what we create now will one day be deemed worthy of being named a golden age.”