A 3,500-year-old Chinese mouth organ, three altarpieces from the early 16th century and a mythological firebird, more a magical-divine principle than a real figure.
The composer Unsuk Chin had long avoided writing music for the Sheng, as folklore or exoticism were not on her wavelength. But the art of sheng virtuoso Wu Wei changed her mind - and so in 2009 she created "Šu" for sheng and orchestra, with a solo instrument that stands for the "longing for distant sound". The sheng concerto is framed here by the powerful timbres of classical modernism, vivid tonal images and historical associations, conceived by two masters of orchestral effectiveness who are second to none. The woman at the helm of the symphonic apparatus: Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki, who sees "a huge treasure trove" in the almost limitless orchestral repertoire - these three works are particularly dazzling gems in it