Compact Discoveries
a series of one-hour radio programs
produced, written, hosted, and edited by Fred Flaxman

©2003 and 2007 by Fred Flaxman
Program 52
"Tyzen Hsiao"

MUSIC: all music in this program is by Tyzen Hsiao from the Angelok1 two-CD compact disc "Tyzen Hsiao" [CD 9912/13], beginning with CD 2, track 6, under the following:

Welcome to Compact Discoveries. I'm your guide, Fred Flaxman. The next hour will be devoted completely to a single compact discovery: an Angelok-1 [ANN-gell-lock 1] recording of the music of the Taiwanese composer Tyzen Hsiao [TIE-zin Sh-ow]. The music in the background is from his violin concerto, which we'll hear in a moment. But first, a bit of background on the composer.

MUSIC: fades out

Tyzen Hsiao was born in Kaoshing in 1938. He made his debut as a pianist at the age of seven, having had only two years of piano instruction from his mother.

Later he studied at the National Taiwan Normal University. In the mid-1960s he moved to Japan to study composition at the Musabino Music Academy, graduating in 1967. He then worked for several years as a composer and associate professor at several colleges in Taiwan.

In 1977 Hsiao moved to the United States, where ten years later he earned a Masters Degree in composition from California State University.

Hsiao has written concertos for violin, cello and piano, oratorio, symphonic poems, symphonies and light opera.

Traditional Taiwanese folk music, poetry and religious music have provided thematic inspiration for him, and he has been called the "Taiwanese Rachmaninov" because much of his music is so romantic. Hsiao has been residing in Taiwan again since 1995.

Hsiao wrote his Violin Concerto in D in 1991. It is in the usual three-movement form, but the third movement follows the second without any break.

I find this piece the most Chinese of any of the compositions on this two-CD set, perhaps because the violin can come closer to conveying Chinese folk melodies than can a piano, for example, which is not at all an Asian instrument.

If Rachmaninov had been born in China and had he written violin concertos instead of piano concertos, one of them might have sounded something like this.

MUSIC: Hsiao: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 50, Alexander Trostiansky, violin; Russian Federal Orchestra conducted by Vakhtang Jordania [Angelok1 CD9913, tracks 4, 5, and 6]

Alexander Trostiansky was the violinist with the Russian Federal Orchestra conducted by Vakhtang Jordania in a performance of the Violin Concerto in D, Op. 50, by Tyzen Hsiao.

This Compact Discoveries hour is devoted entirely to the contemporary romantic concertos of this Taiwanese composer. I'm your host, Fred Flaxman.

[optional one minute break not included in the 58:00 total timing]

Next, from the same two-CD Angelok1 recording, we'll listen to Hsiao's Cello Concerto in C, Op. 52. It is in two movements. The cellist is Kirill Rodin. Once again the Russian Federal Orchestra is conducted by Vakhtang Jordania.

MUSIC: Hsiao: Cello Concerto in C, Op. 52, Kiril Rodin, cello; Russian Federal Orchestra conducted by Vakhtang Jordania [Angelok1 CD9913, tracks 1 and 2] [25:58]

Taiwanese composer Tyzen Hsiao's Cello Concerto in C, Op. 52. The cellist was Kirill Rodin. The Russian Federal Orchestra was conducted by Vakhtang Jordania.

You have been listening to Compact Discoveries. I'm your guide, Fred Flaxman, and this hour has been devoted to the romantic contemporary music of Tyzen Hsiao. That is spelled: T-y-z-e-n H-s-i-a-o.

We close with an excerpt from Hsiao's tone poem called The Angel from Formosa, a musical portrait of a peaceful Taiwanese country scene.

MUSIC: Hsiao: An Angel from Formosa, Russian Federal Orchestra conducted by Vakhtang Jordania [Angelok1 CD9913, track 3]

[over the music] You have been listening to the music of Tyzen Hsiao on Compact Discoveries. The music was all from an Angelok1 compact disc set which also includes Hsiao's piano concerto, a symphony, and a concert overture.

I hope you have enjoyed his violin and cello concertos, and that, for you as for me, this was a compact discovery. My name is Fred Flaxman, and you can reach me in care of this station or through my website: I would love to hear from you.

Compact Discoveries is a production of Compact Discoveries, Incorporated, and is a presentation of WXEL-FM, West Palm Beach, Florida.

MUSIC: ends at 57:45

ANNOUNCER [Steve Jencks]: This program was made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts - a great nation deserves great art; and by the Public Radio Exchange Reversioning Project. The Public Radio Exchange is at

Program ends at 58:00

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