The collaboration between Fuga Libera and the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel continues to flourish. Young Korean cellist Christine J. Lee, together with pianist Henry Kramer, takes us on a personal voyage through Samuel Barber, Elliott Carter, Eugène Ysaÿe, Baek Go San and Jacques Brel in a colourful and highly original programme.
Christine writes, 'Growing up in two very different and, at times, conflicting cultures, music has always been the bridge that connects the different phases and places of my life. In this debut album, I wanted to capture my journey as a person and a musician. Arirang is a well-known Korean folk song in which the lyrics portray the pain and yearning of a lost love. Baek took this simple tune and turned it into a virtuosic and melismatic saga of self-discovery. Young Barber’s expressive and hopeful voice in his Cello Sonata captures the spirit of the American Dream, the wide-eyed optimism that anything is possible. Written only about a decade later, I relate the rhythmic complexity of Carter’s Sonata to another intersection on my continuing yet irregular journey. The fluidity of time, bursts of energy, and rhythmic liveliness are some of the most apparent characteristics of this piece. Finally, Henry and I chose to record the rarely heard Ysaÿe’s Meditation and Jacques Brel songs to express our gratitude to Belgium. We have both experienced such warmth and support there, and it is the place where our collaboration started. I hope this album is emblematic of bridging different cultures and journeys together.'