Piano Music by J.S. Bach, Schumann and Shaw

Johann Sebastian Bach, Robert Schumann, Caroline Shaw

AMY YANG, piano



"[Amy Yang] gives revealing performances of three composers that at first glance might seem to have little in common. But true to the album title Resonance, Yang makes her points in no uncertain terms... [In Bach's Partita No.4, Yang makes it all plausible in her performance on a remarkably lithe and light-sounding Steinway, recapturing the wonderful clarity of texture which Bach had originally envisioned for the harpsichord... Yang’s insightful account of Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze...emphasizes the ways in which this work takes up where Carnaval left off. Yang obviously relishes this [piece]."
Phil Muse, Atlanta Audio Club [October 2019]
"[a] jaw-dropping pianist who steals the show...with effortless finesse”
The Washington Post
Like old companions, with whom the passing of years brings deepened resonance, the three titans of the piano repertoire recorded here stood out as works close to my heart as I was determining my program.

Bach, who shoulders the mighty cantilever of Western music, offers an achievement decidedly unburdened. He presents his most buoyantly joyous yet thoughtful self in this Partita. Here, we find him an artful dodger, a whimsical dancer – able to slip, leap and ricochet in mischievous repeats, only to pause, as if in thought, while he ponders the universe in slow movements. Bach may be an Atlas of musical tradition, but in this piece he carries the world lightly.

Caroline Shaw, whose artistry I admire profoundly, composed Gustave le Gray for me in 2012. Le Gray, the 19th century photographer, invented combination printing: the fusion of two negatives – of water and sky – into one perfectly-exposed seascape. This process of merging two elements to make a single, greater innovation – a musical portmanteau – is the creative spirit behind this piece. Chopin’s Mazurka in A minor, Op.17, No.4, is framed by scintillating blurs and bokehs, as well as mercurial sounds, pungent triads and a fragrant sense of nostalgia that only Shaw can conjure. Here the visual and the audible offer a pas de deux.

To close, I chose a piece with which I feel a deep affinity: Robert Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze. The music is so beautiful, one aches in playing it. Completing this album, composed of dances, is there a dance like the final one that treads with more brave fragility between the line of love and loss?

May these incredible inventions resonate with you in your musical listening.

Amy Yang [July 2019]

Amy Yang balances an active career as soloist, chamber musician and pedagogue. Collaborating with leading musicians, Ms. Yang toured with Patricia Kopatchinskaya, Tito Muñoz and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and premiered music by Michael Hersch at Cal Performances, Ojai Music Festival and Aldeburgh Festival. Additional collaborations include performances with Richard Goode, Anne-Marie McDermott, Ida and Ani Kavafian, Miriam Fried, Roberto Díaz, Kim Kashkashian, Joseph Silverstein, members of Guarneri String Quartet, and with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Dover Quartet, Aizuri String Quartet, Jasper String Quartet and A Far Cry. Ms. Yang’s debut on the Philadelphia Chamber Music Series follows solo engagements with the Houston Symphony, Tuscaloosa Symphony, Mansfield Symphony, Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and Orquesta Juvenil Universitaria Eduardo Mata at UNAM.

Ms. Yang has performed under the batons of Adam Flatt, John Giordano, Thomas Hong, Mariusz Smolij and others. She has premiered music by Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw, Avner Dorman, Michael Hersch, Ezra Laderman, Paul Wianko and Hua Yang. Festival appearances include Bravo! Vail, Caramoor, Chamber Music Northwest, Chelsea Music Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, Olympic Music Festival, Prussia Cove, Ravinia Festival, Twickenham Fest, Verbier Academy, among others. An active recording artist, her discography includes albums with violinist Itamar Zorman (BIS Records), violinist Tessa Lark (First Hand Records) and clarinetist José Franch-Ballester (iTinerant Records). Upcoming releases include music for solo piano by Ezra Laderman (Albany Records) and a recording with violinist Danbi Um.

Yang is a member of the chamber music faculty at Curtis Institute of Music, program director and piano faculty member of Curtis Summerfest’s Young Artist Summer Program and teaches at the University of Pennsylvania and Haverford College. Winner of the 2018 Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia prize and the Kosciuszko National Chopin Piano Competition, she is an alumna of Curtis Institute of Music, Juilliard School and Yale School of Music, where she received the Parisot Award for Outstanding Pianist and the Alumni Association Prize. She enjoys making line drawings and tracing the mysteries of neuroscience.
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PARTITA NO.4 IN D MAJOR, BWV 828 (1726-29)
I. Ouvertüre
II. Allemande
III. Courante
IV. Aria
V. Sarabande
VI. Menuet
VII. Gigue

World Premiere Recording

Heft I
Mit Humor
Sehr rasch
Nicht schnell
Heft II
Balladenmäßig (Sehr rasch)
Mit Humor
Wild und lustig
Zart und singend
Mit gutem Humor
Wie aus der Ferne
Nicht schnell

MSR Classics