Phoenix Story

Tony Way
The Age 'Green Guide' (Australia)
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Still in their 20s, the Sydney-born Ng brothers have become wonderfully persuasive advocates for the cello as this very satisfying disc makes clear. They are fortunate to be supported by pianist David Tong who brings considerable romantic fervour to bear on the piano parts in sonatas by Chopin and Rachmaninov.

Pei-Jee Ng joins Tong in a tender, empathetic account of the Chopin, a late work that sees the composer transcending his usual miniature format in favour of a longer exploration of lyrical ideas over four movements. In particular, the central Largo is superbly handled.

Pei-Sian Ng and Tong deliver an ardent performance of the Rachmaninov sonata. This work is full of the composer-pianist’s hallmarks; the pyrotechnical aspects neatly balanced by the melodious serenity of the third-movement Andante, which is cast in the same mould as the slow movement of the second piano concerto.

This recital concludes with a new two-movement work, Phoenix Story, from Elena Kats-Chernin, scored for two cellos alone. There are allusions to oriental music, but the work grows into a more post-modern style as it proceeds. As a means of demonstrating sibling synergy, the work succeeds admirably.

Production values are of the same high standard we have come to expect from Melba.