RESONANCEPiano Music by J.S. Bach, Schumann and Shaw
Johann Sebastian Bach, Robert Schumann, Caroline Shaw
AMY YANG, piano
"This is just the sort of piano disc that I love, either in its entirety or in selected passages. Three composers are represented, two very well-known and one less so, at present. This makes for an attractive programme, sensitively performed and recorded makes; all in all an enjoyable and rewarding listen."
David Dunsmore, MusicWeb International [May 2020]
"This is just the sort of piano disc that I love, either in its entirety or in selected passages. Three composers are represented, two very well-known and one less so, at present. This makes for an attractive programme, sensitively performed and recorded makes; all in all an enjoyable and rewarding listen... [Sviatoslav Richter] caused consternation as a judge at a competition by awarding 100 or 0: his reasoning 'They can either play or not'. On that basis Amy Yang gets 100 from me. It’s not just technique, there’s real musicality and humanity in her playing... I found [her] performance [of the Schumann] riveting from start to finish. I have recordings, including those by renowned pianists such as Wilhelm Kempff, Andras Schiff [and] Amy Yang certainly joins these with her breath-taking - you might even say 'jaw dropping' - playing... I can’t praise highly enough this debut piano record."
David R. Dunsmore, MusicWeb International [April 2020]
"I will discuss her program in order, beginning with her extraordinary performance of the Bach Partita in D... There are dramatic changes in volume and rubato... expressive variety one would find in a Czerny edition of Bach... it’s gratifying to hear a pianist taking these kinds of liberties with Bach. [Shaw's music] relates nicely to Chopin’s care for sonority and color... she is without doubt a great composer. Yang closes her program with Schumann’s Davidsbundlertanze. Once again I am enchanted with her interpretive approach to the music—just different enough to distinguish her performance from many others. The tone, phrasing—beautiful. She understands the mercurial expressive changes in Schumann’s music and projects them without overstating them. This is, in short, extremely sensitive and sophisticated artistry."
Haskins, American Record Guide [May/June 2020]
"The program concept is absolutelyinspired, for each of these works, though stylistically divergent, embodies wide contrasts of mood... [Yang brings] fervency and audacity to her Bach. The Ouverture's introduction comes to vivid life through Yang's coiled` freedome and deft ornaments... If anything, Yang's freedom reaches eopic proportions throughout the Schumann... the music readily absorbs Yang's subjective touches."
Jed Distler, Gramophone [February 2020]
"[In the Bach] Yang’s sound is ideal—and her interpretation is absorbing from first note to last... Then again, the disc would be worth owning even if it included only the Schumann... Then yet again, the disc would be worth owning even if it included only the piece by Caroline Shaw... In sum, a sensational recital—presented in immediate sound with informative notes by Yang, Shaw, and Curt Cacioppo. Strongly recommended."
Peter Rabinowitz, Fanfare [March/April 2020]
“Amy Yang’s CD is by any standards played with great sensitivity and skill… Her version of Bach’s Partita No.4, for example, nicely explores the emotional variances of this seven-movement suite, with the Allemande and contemplative Sarabande coming across particularly well… [Yang] keeps the sound of the piano admirably light, using the instrument to accentuate some of the delicacy and verve that Bach brings to some of the movements. Listeners who like Bach on piano will enjoy this… Yang’s sensitive handling of the contrasts among the pieces [of Schumann's Davidsbündlertänz] is even more engaging than is her treatment of Bach.”
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [December 2019]
"While listening to Amy Yang’s CD, “Resonance,” I greatly admired her powerful hands eliciting the full depth of sound from a Steinway piano, while performing with enthusiasm and joy that have would impressed the late Lazar Berman, also known for strong performances. It was surprising, relative to her talent, skill and virtuosity, to learn this CD is Yang’s first solo recording. The spotlight has fallen on her now. She cannot escape her growing audience."
Joel C. Thompson, Cherry Grove Music Review [October 2019]
"[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
PROGRAM NOTESLike 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.
[ www.amyjyang.com ]
PROGRAMJOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)
PARTITA NO.4 IN D MAJOR, BWV 828 (1726-29)
CAROLINE SHAW (b.1982)
GUSTAVE LE GRAY (2012)
World Premiere Recording
ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
DAVIDSBÜNDLERTÄNZE, OP.6 (1837)
Balladenmäßig (Sehr rasch)
Wild und lustig
Zart und singend
Mit gutem Humor
Wie aus der Ferne