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Liszt: Schubert Song Transcriptions / Avan Yu

Schubert / Yu,Avan
Release Date: 04/14/2015 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8573349   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Liszt
Performer:  Avan Yu
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Winner of the 2012 Sydney International Piano Competition, the Canadian pianist Avan Yu (born 1987) devotes his Naxos CD debut to Schubert songs transcribed by Franz Liszt. He offers all but two of the 12 Winterreise transcriptions, plus 10 selections from Liszt’s piano version of the entire posthumously published Schwanengesang cycle.

Liszt’s lavish filigree may sound a little overloaded by purist standards, yet he always treats the melodies with respect and intelligent registral deployment. Many young virtuosos plow through these transcriptions with little indication that they know the original songs. Avan Yu, however, brilliantly reconciles Schubert’s melodic trajectory with Liszt’s intricate textures.

In
Read more Winterreise’s Mut, for example, Yu differentiates the accompaniment’s springing rhythms and the legato vocal line through touch and timbre, while Das Wirtshaus’ arpeggio waves maintain a discreet background, even at climaxes. In Schwanengesang I’m especially impressed by how Yu gives shape and meaning to Am Meer’s tremolos, rather than rattling them off in the manner of a silent movie pianist. Likewise, Kriegers Ahnung’s chromatic flourishes and double notes convey appropriate flair yet never overstep their supporting role.

It would have been nice if Liszt’s six remaining transcriptions from these cycles had also been included, but one shouldn’t complain in light of Yu’s highly appealing artistry. On the basis of the present release, plus a number of YouTube links that feature some excellent Debussy Etudes and a complete audio-only Liszt Sonata, I’d like to hear more of Avan Yu both on disc and in concert.

-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Winterreise (Winter Journey), S. 561 R. 246: No. 1 (1). Gute Nacht: Andantino by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Avan Yu (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839 
Venue:  Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK 
Length: 5 Minutes 9 Secs. 
2.
Winterreise (Winter Journey), S. 561 R. 246: No. 2 (23). Die Nebensonnen: Non troppo lento by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Avan Yu (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839 
Venue:  Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK 
Length: 3 Minutes 53 Secs. 
3.
Winterreise (Winter Journey), S. 561 R. 246: No. 3 (22). Mut: Animato energico by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Avan Yu (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839 
Venue:  Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK 
Length: 1 Minutes 20 Secs. 
4.
Winterreise (Winter Journey), S. 561 R. 246: No. 4 (13). Die Post: Un poco vivo by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Avan Yu (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839 
Venue:  Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
5.
Winterreise (Winter Journey), S. 561 R. 246: No. 5 (4). Erstarrung: Animato by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Avan Yu (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839 
Venue:  Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
6.
Winterreise (Winter Journey), S. 561 R. 246: No. 8 (24). Der Leiermann: Andantino - by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Avan Yu (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839 
Venue:  Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK 
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 
7.
Winterreise (Winter Journey), S. 561 R. 246: No. 9 (19). Täuschung: Un poco animato by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Avan Yu (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839 
Venue:  Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK 
Length: 1 Minutes 38 Secs. 
8.
Winterreise (Winter Journey), S. 561 R. 246: No. 10 (21). Das Wirtshaus: Lento assai by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Avan Yu (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839 
Venue:  Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK 
Length: 4 Minutes 55 Secs. 
9.
Schwanengesang (Swansong), S. 560 R. 245: No. 1 (11). Die Stadt: Mässig geschwind by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Avan Yu (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838-1839 
Venue:  Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK 
Length: 2 Minutes 48 Secs. 
10.
Schwanengesang (Swansong), S. 560 R. 245: No. 2 (10). Das Fischermädchen: Etwas geschwind by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Avan Yu (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838-1839 
Venue:  Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK 
Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs. 
11.
Schwanengesang (Swansong), S. 560 R. 245: No. 4 (12). Am Meer: Sehr langsam by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Avan Yu (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838-1839 
Venue:  Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK 
Length: 4 Minutes 36 Secs. 
12.
Schwanengesang (Swansong), S. 560 R. 245: No. 5 (7). Abschied: Mässig geschwind by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Avan Yu (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838-1839 
Venue:  Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK 
Length: 4 Minutes 28 Secs. 
13.
Schwanengesang (Swansong), S. 560 R. 245: No. 6 (6). In der Ferne: Lento patetico by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Avan Yu (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838-1839 
Venue:  Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK 
Length: 6 Minutes 49 Secs. 
14.
Schwanengesang (Swansong), S. 560 R. 245: No. 7 (4). Ständchen: Tempo rubato. Mässig by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Avan Yu (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838-1839 
Venue:  Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK 
Length: 5 Minutes 38 Secs. 
15.
Schwanengesang (Swansong), S. 560 R. 245: No. 9 (3). Frühlingssehnsucht: Presto by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Avan Yu (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838-1839 
Venue:  Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
16.
Schwanengesang (Swansong), S. 560 R. 245: No. 11 (8). Der Atlas: Etwas geschwind by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Avan Yu (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838-1839 
Venue:  Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK 
Length: 2 Minutes 35 Secs. 
17.
Schwanengesang (Swansong), S. 560 R. 245: No. 13 (14). Die Taubenpost: Andante con sentimento by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Avan Yu (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838-1839 
Venue:  Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK 
Length: 4 Minutes 36 Secs. 
18.
Schwanengesang (Swansong), S. 560 R. 245: No. 14 (2). Kriegers Ahnung: Non troppo lento by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Avan Yu (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838-1839 
Venue:  Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, UK 
Length: 6 Minutes 44 Secs. 

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