On Thursday April 11th 2019, pianist Yoonie Han gave a recital at the Shoemaker Salon on Central Park West, NYC.
The program was anchored by the work of French composer Reynaldo Hahn (1874-1947) and ranged across the romantic era from late 19th century to mid-20th.
Ms. Han introduced each work to us before playing, which the audience always appreciates.
Gluck/Friedman: Melodié from Orfeo ed Euridice
After just a few phrases of Mélodie it was obvious that Yoonie Han has something unique. Her fluency and refined pacing touch the edge of perfection and tug at the heart throughout this wistfully beautiful work.
Hahn: Le Rossignol éperdu (selections)
Stylistically French, Le Rossignol éperdue‘s impressionistic aura made it feel more like a predecessor to Debussy than the successor that it is.
Ms. Han played just 16 of its 53 poèmes due to the size of the work. I asked later how she chose which to play. Mostly, she selected the poèmes that she felt she played best.
Granados: Goyescas – El Amor y la Muerte
After Hahn’s dreamy and occasionally cloying work, Granados’ more lugubrian fare with its Liszt-ian progressions was a well-chosen successor. Here Ms. Han had room to show more of her expressive range.
Encore: Clair de Lune (Debussy)
Composed in 1890, Debussy’s work was the earliest of the entire concert, yet it encapsulated our entire evening with Yoonie Han: reflective, evocative and beautifully delivered, but all too short.
Yoonie Han’s New CD
After the recital I purchased Yoonie Han’s new CD on the Steinway and Sons label. It contains the full cycle of Le Rossignol éperdue, only the second recording ever to do so.
When Ms. Han went to autograph her CD, it was difficult to find a place on the box. I suggest to Steinway and Sons that there should always be a place for the artist to write. After all, a CD is insufficient as a memento of a live performance. Fans want a little bit of the artist herself.
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