Notes and Editorial Reviews
Artur Schnabel's piano works represent the major stages of his composing life, and are written for the instrument whose possibilities he knew best. Pianist Jenny Lin's traversal of this music, composed between 1896 and 1947, affords a view from the keyboard of a strikingly unique composer, who operated at the very highest level of his art.
Jenny Lin is one of the most respected young pianists today, admired for her adventurous programming and charismatic stage presence. She has been acclaimed for her “remarkable technical command” and “a gift for melodic flow” by The New York Times. The Washington Post praises “Lin’s confident fingers… spectacular technique… “, “…surely one of the most interesting pianists in America right now…” and Gramophone Magazine has hailed her as “an exceptionally sensitive pianist”. Her orchestral engagements have included the American Symphony Orchestra, NDR and SWR German Radio orchestras, and Orchestra Sinfonica Nationale della RAI. Her concerts have taken her to Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center’s Great Performers, SF Jazz, MoMA, Stanford LIVE, and National Gallery of Art, appearing at Festivals such as Mostly Mozart, BAM’s Next Wave, Spoleto USA, Kings Place London, Chopin Festival Austria, and Schleswig-Holstein Festival Germany.
With the Dance Suite of 1920-21, we finally begin to encounter Schnabel’s mature compositional style. One immediately senses a rhythmically stronger and harmonically spikier approach while still, at times, retaining some of the lyricism of his earlier works.
It's in his Piano Sonata of 1923 where we find his final style. It clearly precipitates much of the music of the late 1950s and early ‘60s. Was it Schnabel’s fault that he was 35 years ahead of his time? Jenny Lin's clear perception of where this music started, where it is going, and how it is to be phrased and structured have as much to do with one’s appreciation and even enjoyment of it as what Schnabel put into it. I’m not even sure that Schnabel himself could have played it any better than this.
No two ways about it, this is a remarkable achievement and a boost to the reputation of Schnabel as a composer.
– The Art Music Luonge (Lynn René Bayley)