QIAN YIN AND PO-CHUAN CHIANG

BRAHMS & FRANCK: VIOLIN SONATAS

BRAHMS & FRANCK: VIOLIN SONATAS


Johannes Brahms, C├ęsar Franck

QIAN YIN AND PO-CHUAN CHIANG

Debut Recording

[MS1837]

$14.95

REVIEWS
"Two young artists bathe the listener in attractive, insightful interpretations."
Amber Wingler, SAI Pan Pipes [Summer 2023]
"[Qian Yin] reminded me of violinists from the turn of the last century before the tonal intensity and rapid, tight vibrato of the Russian School exemplified by Mischa Elman, Jascha Heifetz, and Toscha Seidel became the international standard. She is not reticent, but her calm intimacy invites the listener’s attention rather than commands it."
Magil, Americn Record Guide [July/August 2023]
"while I do not contend that this recording will supplant your favorites, I do think it offers many strengths that make it worthy of consideration. First and foremost is the marvelous sense of collaboration. Throughout, Qian Yin and Po-Chuan Chiang perform with remarkable synchronicity. Indeed, their confluence of phrasing, dynamics, and instrumental colors often suggests the work of a single artist. And this unanimity of purpose is always at the service of the music. In general, this duo favors an introspective approach, both in terms of volume and instrumental color. Nonetheless, they are successful at realizing the variety of emotions conveyed throughout. The artists phrase with great care and compelling expression... [The recording] is  excellent.  Recommended."
Ken Meltzer, Fanfare [July/August 2023]
"[in the third movement that Franck] where the violin plays a slowly ascending line over the piano’s arpeggiated part, almost always [stealing] in with breathtaking beauty no matter who is playing it, but Qian Yin’s utterance over the next 35 bars puts beauty to shame. I find myself at quite a loss for words to describe it. Her F-sharp at the beginning of bar 70 is whispered so softly and with such intimacy that a shiver went up my spine. It’s as if in that one note, Yin unlocks the secret to the sensuality of Franck’s music that so enflamed the passions of his audiences. I’ve heard more performances of Franck’s sonata than I can count or remember, but I’ve never heard it played with the exquisiteness of expression that Yin and Chiang aspire to and achieve in it here. If you never believed in the power of music to evoke the act of lovemaking in all of its heated frenzy and caressing tenderness, this performance should change your mind... Not to take away one iota of the radiance of Yin’s playing—you have only to hear the combination of aching hope and intense longing that suffuses her shaping and shading of the first movement’s second subject [Franck] to understand her deep emotional involvement with the music—but I want to give a shoutout here to Po-Chuan Chiang, who matches Yin’s expressive nuances to the extent possible on a piano. This is extraordinary playing one doesn’t encounter all that often in violin/piano partnering... These two artists make every note of every bar of every moment of this music count, and I can honestly say I was swept up by their performances of these two works in ways I never have quite been before. An absolutely urgent recommendation."
Jerry Dubins, Fanfare [July/August 2023] 
"There are two mainstays of the violin repertoire here, and therefore massive competition in both pieces. That said, there is a real reason to obtain Qian Yin and Po-Chuan Chiang’s readings: They are more personal than most, more internalized, and as such offer a new spin on these familiar scores... The central Adagio is unsurprisingly successful, with Yin’s stopping spot-on and performed with a real legato line... The choice of the Franck as a coupling is an interesting one. Inevitably, the expansiveness of the first movement suits Yin and Chiang perfectly. Yin’s sinewy tone works well here, as does her sweeter upper register... Po-Chuan Chiang conjures up some miraculously clear yet beautiful textures."
Colin Clarke, Fanfare [July/August 2023]
"This is such a close, intimate recording and both performers gives a performance with such warmth and complexity. This is really delicate performance work, and as I listened, I could feel the depth of meaning and the amount of work that these performers put into each note, or each space between these notes, as well as the spaces between their instruments. There is such a closeness to this finely detailed performance."
Jacqueline Kharouf, Fanfare [July/August 2023]
"Yin and Chiang embrace the warmth and lyricism of these works completely and play them with sensitivity and a srong sense of engagement... Yin and Chiang are technically proficient and emotionally open to the material"
Mark. J. Estren, InfoDad [June 2023]
"A 2022 debut release of a recording of the violinist Qian Yin with pianist Po-Chuan Chiang landed in my review assignments this week... the performers proved to be excellent as well, and the recorded sound has the listener feeling almost present in the room... Yin's playing in the Brahms has a mellow sweetness of timbre that is truly special. Her ensemble with Dr. Chiang is precisely together, and her intonation is always sure. It is a special joy to hear how seemingly effortlessly she navigates its more challenging aspects, because even in these days of technical firebrands, many players still have squawks and screeches here and there in such a piece. Nothing can ruin a Brahmsian spell like such sounds of strain, but there was no such issue here...
this violinist is superb."
Rorianne Schrade, New York Concert Review [April 2023]
"Two Chinese musical artists treat us to attractive and insightful interpretations of sonatas for violin and piano by Johannes Brahms and Cesar Franck... In the present performance, where intimate warmth and symphonic-like grandeur co-exist, both partners are required to work closely together to make it convincing. With a partnership such as Qian Yin and Po-Chuan Chiang show here, it’s a cinch!"
Phil Muse, Atlanta Audio Club [February 2023]
PROGRAM NOTES
Qian Yin is a versatile musician, passionate chamber performer and dedicated educator. An active soloist, Yin has appeared in such venues as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, London’s Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Academy of Music’s Duke Hall. Her musicianship has been recognized in competitions around the globe, including Artist Presentation Society Competition, Berlin International Music Competition, Alexander & Buono International Music Competition, Southern Illinois Young Artist Competition, American Classical Young Musician Award, and others. She was the recipient of the Atlantic Music Festival and Banff Musicians in Residence fellowship in 2016. In 2010, Yin was featured on the Sky Arts Channel as a soloist at Royal Festival Hall. As a passionate chamber musician, Yin has given recitals in Konzerthaus Berlin, Chicago Cultural Center, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Royal Festival Hall, Benaroya Hall, Krannert Center, Hong Kong Cultural Center, Shanghai Grand Theatre and Beijing Poly Theatre. She has participated in numerous music festivals, including Banff Musicians in Residence, Atlantic Music Festival in Maine, Young Euro Classic in Berlin and Shanghai Spring International Music Festival. During the 2005 season, she was invited to tour with Seiji Ozawa and chamber musicians from the Ongaku-juku while  performing concerts throughout Japan and China. In 2017, she joined the music faculty at Red Deer College and at Walla Walla University in 2018. Her students have won many international competitions, including Chicago International Music Competition, Windsor International Piano Competition, New Star Music  Competition, Singapore International Music Competition, Tokyo International Youth Music Competition, WPTA Spain International Piano Competition, and others. Yin holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Illinois, where she was awarded a Teaching Assistantship from 2012 to 2015. Born in China, she earned a Bachelor of Music degree at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. In 2009, she received her Master’s degree and LRAM (Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music) Teaching Diploma from the Royal Academy of Music. Qian Yin plays on an 1830 Stefano Scarampella violin with a bow made by Alfred Lamy in 1920, both courtesy of the Guadagnini Violin Shop in Chicago.

Po-Chuan Chiang, a native of Taiwan, performs nationally and internationally. Chiang has worked with many performers, both instrumental and vocal, in multiple styles and genres. In the summer, he has worked as a pianist for the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and Scuola Italia opera program in Sant’Angelo in Vado, Italy. In 2018, he performed in the winner’s concert of the American Protégé Competition in the chamber music category at Carnegie Hall. During his early years at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Chiang was granted a prestigious accompanying assistantship with the vocal, brass and string divisions for student lessons and recitals. He was subsequently offered an opera accompanying assistantship, supporting singers in main-stage operatic productions at the Krannert Center. He also served as the pianist for the University of Illinois Wind Orchestra and Wind Symphony. Chiang has extensive experience in the world of musical theater, having worked with the Champaign-Urbana Theatre Company, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Champaign Central High School and Parkland College Theater as a rehearsal pianist and keyboard player in performances. Currently a staff accompanist at Western Illinois University, Chiang holds a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from the Tainan National University of the Arts in Taiwan. In 2009, he received a Master of Music degree in piano performance at the Boston Conservatory of Music, where he  served as a staff accompanist. In 2017, Chiang earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance under Ian Hobson at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
 
PROGRAM
JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897)
VIOLIN SONATA NO.1 IN G MAJOR, OP.78
I. Vivace ma non troppo
II. Adagio
III. Allegro molto moderato

CÉSAR FRANCK (1822-1890)
VIOLIN SONATA IN A MAJOR
I. Allegretto ben moderato
II. Allegro
III. Recitativo-Fantasia: Ben moderato
IV. Allegretto poco mosso
 

Recorded 18 and 21 June 2018 at Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Producer: Kevin Bourassa. Recording engineers: Sam Gingher and Kevin Bourassa. Editor: Russell Baker.



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