Lang Lang / Sophie Shao HOWARD SHORE Ruin & Memory - Mythic Gardens

World-renowned for his many award-winning film scores including “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”, Howard Shore’s latest album “Two Concerti” shows that his immense compositional talents light up not only the cinema screen but the classical concert stage as well. Released on February 17, the album presents two specially commissioned works dedicated to the music of Frédéric Chopin – the piano concerto Ruin & Memory – performed by renowned pianist Lang Lang; and the cello concerto Mythic Gardens performed by award-winning cellist Sophie Shao.
Ruin & Memory – Concerto for Piano and Orchestra was written in celebration of Chopin’s 200th anniversary and recorded live at its world premiere at the 2010 Beijing Music Festival – whose Arts Foundation commissioned the work. Composed specifically for Lang Lang, Ruin & Memory is Shore’s musical reflection of Chopin’s time and the life he led. About the work Shore explains “The title captures a bit of Chopin’s life, about where he came from and the world he lived in, and what happened when that world was no longer there. The piece is really a love affair with the piano, the intimacy, the tactile perception of that instrument.”
For the companion piece Mythic Gardens – Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra was commissioned for Sophie Shao by the American Symphony Orchestra. Shore took his inspiration from the architecture of three classic Italian gardens: Cimbrone, Medici and Visconti Borromeo Litta. The composer elucidates on his various muses “Growing up in Canada, I spent many summers in Northern Ontario. The surrounding natural beauty of the area was and remains a great inspiration. I believe that it is through this love of nature that I was able to connect so well to Tolkien’s work. The natural world influences the form of my compositions when writing for the concert stage as well. However, it is the incredible musicians themselves, such as Sophie Shao and Lang Lang, whose artistry is always at the center of my creativity when composing.”

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