Raymond Yiu: The World Was Once All Miracle

Raymond Yiu: The World Was Once All Miracle

by Roderick WilliamsRoderick Williams


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Composer Raymond Yiu was born in Hong Kong and came to Britain as a student. He first gained notice with a work called "The Original Chinese Conjuror," which utilized not Chinese history or music, but the tale of an American illusionist who pretended to be Chinese. Since then, he has written wildly eclectic scores that are saved from being bloodless blank pastiche by the sense that they do reflect his own experiences in some way. The music may seem as though it's tailor-made for university classes on the subject of identity, but it's accessible and appealing for anyone, with a delightful sensation of going through life and not knowing what's around the corner. The three orchestral works here give a good introduction to his style and are enthusiastically performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under a trio of conductors and two singers, baritone Roderick Williams and countertenor Andrew Watts, who are ideally suited to his style. Yiu is at his best in music with vocal elements, where he can bounce off the writers of the text in unexpected ways. Listen to the "Symphony," a mixed vocal-instrumental work where the vocal movements involve texts ranging from John Donne to poet Thom Gunn, who gets a setting suggesting 1970s disco music. "The World Was Once All Miracle" is an orchestral song cycle composed for a celebration of the poetry of Anthony Burgess, with the feeling of lively confrontation between writer and poet that marks the best contemporary vocal music. The curtain-raising "The London Citizen Exceedingly Injured" is a kind of wild 18th century travelogue. The performances here were all recorded live, at different times and in different venues, but they cohere into a portrait of one of Britain's most intriguing and entertaining young composers.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/12/2021
Label: Delphian
UPC: 0801918342257
catalogNumber: 34225
Rank: 98348


  1. Symphony, for countertenor & orchestra
  2. The World Was Once All Miracle, for voice & orchestra
  3. The London Citizen Exceedingly Injured, symphonic game for orchestra

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