From Steinway & Sons' growing catalog of personal and beautifully recorded piano recitals comes this one from Chinese pianist Shen Lu, whose training includes stints in Beijing, Boston, and Cleveland. Chinese musicians are said to be seeking out American teachers as a way of adding freedom and originality to their thinking, and that seems to be what's happening here. Some might find more crackling versions of, say, Ravel's Miroirs than the one delivered here by Shen, but it fits in with the rest of the program in a way that keeps listeners absorbed to a degree than another instance of mechanistic virtuosity might not. The program maintains a theme of "impressionistic" depiction, filtering it through the East/West divide and through subdivisions of each.
Ah Jie lost everything in the stock market due to a severe economic crisis. He spends his days in his sealed apartment, smoking joints and looking after the marijuana plants that he secretly grows in his wardrobe. In desperation, he calls a suicide helpline and gets to know Chyi, whose sweet and gentle voice causes him to fall in love with his fantasized image of her. He tries to ask her out but is repeatedly rejected.