Jean-Marie Leclair (1697-1764) is not one of the hottest composers and there are not many recordings of his works these days. Tengfei Zhou, a member of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, has taken up the difficult task of performing both violins in this unique recording of Leclair's Complete Six Sonatas for Two Violins, Op.3. It's a 100% Hong Kong production, which makes me feel absolutely proud to be a Hongkonger. This CD (available at Amazon, Erotica and ArkivMusic (my favourite)) is one of the best-buys if you into Baroque music or French classic.
Zhou, born in Shanghai, received initial training with his father and attended the Shanghai Conservatory of Music at the tender age of 10. In 1992, while under the tutelage of Roy Malan, he made his solo debut with the San Francisco Symphony. He continued his training at the Oberlin College and then at the Julliard School with Stephen Clap. He was appointed the Concertmaster of San Diego Symphony at the age of 15, and toured with the Orchestra in Europe. He finally joined the Hong Kong Philharmonic and settled in Hong Kong. Through his teachers, he could claim descent from Tartini and Corelli, both unquestionably influenced Leclair. In this unique recording, Zhou plays both parts of the sonatas. And, the result can only be summarised by two words - elegance and clarity. The CD, once released, received critical acclaims: "Tengfei offers neat accomplished and characterful reading of the sonatas, crisply articulated ... with charming lightness and spirit (The Strad), "Impressive and highly enjoyable... comparably favorably with those of Kogan/Gilels and Perlman/Zukerman (the Fanfare).
There is a recording of the Pachelbel's Cannon in D as a bonus track. Zhou played the cello part on a synthesiser. He added the bonus track to his CD because of his own wedding (Is there an end to his genius?). See the interesting interview with artist here.
Tengfei is the first recording artist I personally know. I love you, Tengfei.