Born in Shanghai in 1955, Xiaogang Ye is regarded as one of China’s leading contemporary composers. He has written music in a variety of genres, including symphonic and chamber works as well as scores for the stage. Ye has also composed music for films and the two works recorded here are both examples of this. Sichuan Image consists of 29 brief and atmospheric pieces composed to accompany a filmed travelogue of the &&&scenic province in Western China. In preparation for the work, the composer visited mountains, river, villages and ancient historical sites in Sichuan. Lending further colour to the large symphony orchestra, four Chinese musicians perform on traditional instruments.
The disc closes with Concerto of Life, a suite in five movements for piano and orchestra with Noriko Ogawa taking on the solo part. The work is based on the score for a feature film of the same name telling the story of a piano teacher and his students. Ogawa has also appeared on a previous disc of Ye’s music alongside the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and conductor José Serebrier – a disc named Editor's Choice in the Gramophone, whose reviewer described the performances as 'superb' and Ye's scores as possessing ‘lyrical elegance, searching drama and depth of colour…’