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Love and Longing / Yoonie Han

Release Date: 05/27/2014
Label: Steinway & Sons Catalog #: 30030
Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck ,  Franz Liszt ,  Reynaldo Hahn ,  Sergei Prokofiev  ...  Performer:  Yoonie Han Number of Discs: 1
Recorded in: Stereo Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins.

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.

Love and Longing was “Album of the week” on WQXR and made the Top 20 on the Billboard Classical Chart.

Album Credits:
Recorded at Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia on November 18-22, 2013.
Producer: Dan
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Engineer: Daniel Shores

Executive Producers: Eric Feidner, Jon Feidner
Art Direction: Oberlander Group
Photography: Jonathan Barkat
Production Assistant: Renée Oakford
Design: Cover to Cover Design, Anilda Carrasquillo
Piano Technician: John Veitch
Piano: Steinway Model D #590904 (New York)

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

"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... Not since the recording by Dimitri Bashkirov have I enjoyed the liquid sadness of Romeo and Juliet’s Parting from Prokofiev’s keyboard transcription from his tragic ballet. Delicacy of touch and shifting counterpoint marks this heartfelt rendition, whose underlying, throbbing pulsation intensifies its bittersweet moment, rife with tolling Russian bells."
-- Gary Lemco, Audiophile Audition

"With 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... Yoonie Han captivates her audience during her performances of Franz Schubert’s beautiful florilegia of lieder that characterize German Romantic sentiment and convey deeply felt emotions... Ms. Han’s impeccable piano skills gently evoke and translate the emotional textures and timbre of these songs."
-- Paula Edelstein, AXS

"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

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