Fantasia / Yuja Wang

Release Date: 4/10/2012
Catalog Number: B001660602
Performer: Yuja Wang
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

CD
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


The Yuja Wang album that everyone has been waiting for wows with musical miniatures that are short, sweet, and huge in impact. These encore pieces by Scriabin, Gluck, Rachmaninov, Chopin and others will enthrall Yuja Wang's fans with challenging technical demands and the bravura precision of her execution.

The melding of her legendary technical skills with her interpretive intelligence transforms this album of treats into a profound musical experience.

The variety of styles - which includes neo-Classical, Impressionist, Romantic, jazz - in addition to the quality of the arrangements of pieces that are adaptations, provides a welcome and yet unique listening experience.

REVIEW QUOTES:

"Wang's playing-style is more focused than flamboyant and she has a distinctive, deft technique that allows for an astonishing lightness of touch..."

- Nick Shave, BBC Music Magazine / March 2012

"...sensitive and mature technique...clever programming skills...The variety is enough here to make the listener giddy, especially when presented in such vivid, richly textured studio sound. Time and again Wang shows us why she's become the world's darling, whether shading dynamics poetically in a morsel of Gluck's "Orfeo ed Euridice", clarifying the multiple layers in Albéniz's "Triana", or romping with the preposterous glitter of Horowitz's "Carmen Variations" . . . With such tracks we listen intently, happy to follow Wang's fingers wherever they take us..."

- Geoff Brown, The Times (London) / March 23, 2012

FULL REVIEW

Whatever programmatic agenda Yuja Wang had in mind for her third solo DG release, I detect not so much a “Fantasia” as a “Vladimir Horowitz Tribute” due to her inclusion of two celebrated Horowitz transcriptions, along with other works associated with the legendary pianist such as Rachmaninov’s E-flat minor Etude-Tableau, Scriabin’s Op. 32 No. 1 Poème, Chopin’s C-sharp minor Waltz, and Scarlatti’s G major K. 455 sonata. That said, Wang’s impressive prowess and effusive personality can withstand the comparison.

Granted, her repeated notes in the Scarlatti don’t quite match Horowitz’s power, projection, and colorful contrasts (nor does Wang observe the repeats that Horowitz took in his 1962 studio recording), while the E-flat minor Etude-Tableau’s yearning melodies fall short of Horowitz’s shapely specificity and inner drama. While Wang’s skittish phrasing in the Rachmaninov B minor Op. 39 No. 4 underplays the music’s rhythmic backbone, the opposite holds true in her supple, effortless grasp of the Op. 39 No. 6 A minor’s leaping chords and swirling runs. Her lithe and flexible treatments of the Schubert/Liszt Gretchen am Spinnrade and Gluck/Sgambati “Melodie” from Orfeo ed Euridice seem to float out of the instrument, and the Chopin Waltz’s middle-section embellishments are seductively understated. Wang’s sparkling and wittily pointed pianism throughout Victor Straub’s rare solo piano transcription of Dukas’ L’apprenti sorcier almost makes you forget the composer’s ingenious orchestration.

The Scriabin miniatures are appropriately atmospheric by virtue of Wang’s careful pedaling and nuanced phrasing. She makes child’s play of the interlocking octaves and nearly impossible leaps in the Cziffra/Strauss Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka, yet where is the nervous energy, explosive accentuation, and high-wire temperament of Cziffra’s own recording? But Wang brings off Horowitz’s Carmen and Danse macabre with admirable aplomb. Indeed, her smaller, rounder piano tone suits the diabolical passagework just as effectively as Horowitz’s more forceful, gaunter sonority. She doesn’t internalize Triana’s lively accentuations and juicy harmonic concoctions to Alicia De Larrocha’s smoldering degree, but then again, few other pianists do. Overall, an enchanting release.

Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
1. Morceaux de fantaisies (5), Op. 3: no 1, Elégie in E flat minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1892 ; Russia
1. Morceaux de fantaisies (5), Op. 3: no 1, Elégie in E flat minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1892 ; Russia
2. Etudes-tableaux (9) for Piano, Op. 39: no 6 in A minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1916-1917 ; Russia
2. Etudes-tableaux (9) for Piano, Op. 39: no 6 in A minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1916-1917 ; Russia
3. Etudes-tableaux (9) for Piano, Op. 39: no 5 in E flat minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1916-1917 ; Russia
3. Etudes-tableaux (9) for Piano, Op. 39: no 5 in E flat minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1916-1917 ; Russia
4. Etudes-tableaux (9) for Piano, Op. 39: no 4 in B minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1916-1917 ; Russia
4. Etudes-tableaux (9) for Piano, Op. 39: no 4 in B minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1916-1917 ; Russia
5. Sonata for Harpsichord in G major, K 455/L 209 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Baroque
Written: 18th Century ;
5. Sonata for Harpsichord in G major, K 455/L 209 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Baroque
Written: 18th Century ;
6. Orfeo ed Euridice: Dance of the Blessed Spirits by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Classical
Written: 1762/1774 ; Vienna, Austria
6. Orfeo ed Euridice: Dance of the Blessed Spirits by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Classical
Written: 1762/1774 ; Vienna, Austria
7. Suite Iberia, Book 2: no 3, Triana by Isaac Albeniz
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1906 ; France
7. Suite Iberia, Book 2: no 3, Triana by Isaac Albeniz
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1906 ; France
8. Variations on a Theme from Bizet's "Carmen" by Vladimir Horowitz
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
8. Variations on a Theme from Bizet's "Carmen" by Vladimir Horowitz
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
9. Gretchen am Spinnrade (Schubert) for Piano, S 558 no 8 by Franz Liszt
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1837-1838 ; France
9. Gretchen am Spinnrade (Schubert) for Piano, S 558 no 8 by Franz Liszt
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1837-1838 ; France
10. Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka, Op. 214 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1858 ; Vienna, Austria
10. Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka, Op. 214 by Johann Strauss Jr.
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1858 ; Vienna, Austria
11. Waltzes (3) for Piano, B 164/Op. 64: no 2 in C sharp minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1846-1847 ; Paris, France
11. Waltzes (3) for Piano, B 164/Op. 64: no 2 in C sharp minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1846-1847 ; Paris, France
12. L'apprenti sorcier by Paul Dukas
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1897 ; France
12. L'apprenti sorcier by Paul Dukas
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1897 ; France
13. Preludes (6) for Piano, Op. 13: no 6 in G major by Alexander Scriabin
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1895 ; Russia
13. Preludes (6) for Piano, Op. 13: no 6 in G major by Alexander Scriabin
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1895 ; Russia
14. Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 11: no 12 in G sharp minor by Alexander Scriabin
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1888-1896 ; Russia
14. Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 11: no 12 in G sharp minor by Alexander Scriabin
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1888-1896 ; Russia
15. Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 11: no 11 in B major by Alexander Scriabin
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1888-1896 ; Russia
15. Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 11: no 11 in B major by Alexander Scriabin
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1888-1896 ; Russia
16. Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 8: no 9 in G sharp minor by Alexander Scriabin
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1894 ; Russia
16. Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 8: no 9 in G sharp minor by Alexander Scriabin
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1894 ; Russia
17. Poèmes (2) for Piano, Op. 32: no 1 in F sharp major by Alexander Scriabin
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1903 ; Russia
17. Poèmes (2) for Piano, Op. 32: no 1 in F sharp major by Alexander Scriabin
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1903 ; Russia
18. Danse macabre in G minor, Op. 40 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1874 ; France
18. Danse macabre in G minor, Op. 40 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer: Yuja Wang (Piano)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1874 ; France
Customer Reviews