"Taiwan Philharmonic in Europe - Asia's Most European Orchestra"
by American Record Guide (Robert Markow)
...Ming-Hsiu Yen (b. 1980) represented the younger generation. Her Breaking Through, premiered last September in Taipei, is a 15-minute tone poem inspired by the ordeal of digging an eight-mile tunnel through the nearly 13,000-foot-high Snow Mountain near Taipei (higher than Japan's Mt Fuji). Powerful rhythmic motifs from the percussion depicting the great tunnel boring machine, somber meditations on the lives lost, and turbulent passages suggestive of the inflow of water that plagued the engineers were all explicitly depicted in tone. The best music came just after the "breakthrough" itself, not a great wall of jubilant sound but a thin sustained line in the high violins "like a beam of light peering through the darkness", according to Yen. As the "beam of light slowly overcomes the darkness", the music is bathed in an impressionist iridescence that eventually rises to an overpowering climax. Yen's mastery of both orchestration and formal structure underscores her studies with such leading figures as William Bolcom, Christopher Rouse, and Steven Stucky....