Tender and Strange
"Monica Chew is a gifted player with an affinity for deeply sensitive expression.... [She plays] with impeccable timing and musicality." —The Wholenote, June-August 2018
"The two Takemitsu pieces Rain Tree Sketch and Rain Tree Sketch II are wonderfully delicate, like tissue." —International Piano, July/August 2018
Monica Chew’s debut release features Janacek’s In the Mists, Bartók études, Messiaen’s Le Baiser, Toru Takemitsu Rain Tree Sketches, and Scriabin’s 4th Sonata and op. 16 Preludes.
Monica created this program as an excuse to learn Janáček’s In the Mists, a poignant manifestation of grief. The Bartók études, though not explicitly programmatic, feel at times like a meditation on love and mortality. The line from Bartók to Messiaen is a short one. The last three sets sound as though written by “brothers from another mother.” Rain Tree Sketches surely inhabit a neighboring space-time universe as the Messiaen and Scriabin pieces that bookend the program and hint at the sounds and colors of the next century.