Notes and Editorial Reviews
Praised for her “flowing tones, poetic phrasing, and heavenly singing melodies” (Cincinnati Enquirer), South Korean pianist Yoonie Han's ”Love and Longing” marks her debut Steinway & Sons Label release. This recording is one of a group of new releases from the Steinway label that highlights rising artists who have garnered critical acclaim and notable achievements.This debut includes the world premiere recording of Theodore Wiprud’s El Jaleo, written for Ms. Han.
R E V I E W S:
"The beautifully engineered recordings on the U.S.-based Steinway & Sons label hark back, as does the brand name Steinway itself, to the golden age of pianism and the piano recital. The title and gauzy graphics of Love and Longing, a release by South Korean pianist Yoonie Han, actually make the album sound a bit more crossover-oriented and less specific than it really is: you're actually looking at a carefully chosen collection of piano pieces favored by the virtuosos of yore, most of them arrangements of songs or operatic selections. The largest group consists of arrangements of Schubert songs by Franz Liszt, pieces that would have been familiar indeed to European concertgoers of the middle 19th century, but that lately have been regarded with some distaste. Of course they're overdue for a revival, and Han's delicate, poetic approach shows just the details with which Lizst would have teased the sensibilities of his audience. The hoary Mélodie from Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice makes an ideal overture, setting a quiet, slightly antique mood, and Han offers several other larger operatic pieces that provide a bit of contrast with the songs but don't break the dreamy mood that she for the most part sustains beautifully. Liszt would have eventually thrown in some fireworks, and that doesn't happen here; the finale is the Liebestod from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, also arranged by Liszt. It may be that the weight of all this love and longing isn't quite held up when you reach this point, but that may be a matter of taste, and those looking for a very romantic hour of inventively chosen music will be interested in this release." -- James Manheim, All Music Guide
Love and Longing, rising star pianist Yoonie Han invites us to share her exceptional solo piano interpretations of some of the world’s most revered Lieder... Ms. Han’s impeccable piano skills gently evoke and translate the emotional textures and timbre of these songs." -- Paula Edelstein, AXS
"Yoonie Han...possesses an articulate combination of fluency and poetic feeling. This album, a tribute to love, yearning, and death, reveals her sensitivity in matters of phrase and touch, with a good capacity to make liquid tone... The impassioned singing and cascades of self-immolation from Han’s Steinway D resonate effectively." -- Gary Lemco, Audiophile Audition
"South Korean pianist Yoonie Han has a great delicacy of tone and feeling for drama... her heart is clearly in this project and her playing is graceful and nuanced. Prokofiev’s piano arrangement of a bit of “Romeo and Juliet” is a special treat." -- Mary Kunz Goldman, The Buffalo News