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Joyce Yang releases “Wild Dreams” on March 11

Joyce Yang’s debut solo album for Avie Records, Collage, was hailed by American Record Guide as “an outstanding first recording.” Now the pianist – a silver medalist at the Cliburn competition and recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant – presents her sophomore Avie release, Wild Dreams, on which she plays Schumann’s Fantasiestücke, Hindemith’s In einer Nacht, Bartók’s Out of Doors suite, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Sonata No. 2, and Rachmaninoff songs in solo piano arrangements by Earl Wild. The album’s March 11 release coincides with that of her new Alexander String Quartet collaboration for the Foghorn Classics label (March 11) and follows on the heels of her Bridge Records recording of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto (Feb 1). Equally sought after as a solo recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral soloist, Yang demonstrates once again why she has been hailed as “one of the most versatile and thoughtful of the rising pianists of our time” (D Magazine).
In an accompanying Artist’s Note, the pianist explains her Wild Dreams program:
“I have recorded works that truly make me dream in a recital setting. Each piece defies gravity, and the sense of time and space is redefined by the spontaneity of performance.
“Part of my thinking may be stimulated by my synesthesia – the way I ‘see’ music – but I am also imagining the swirling subconscious at work in the minds of these composers, prodding wild new realities and vocabularies as they created these particular pieces in their waking dreams. I have interwoven these wild-by-nature works into one continuous journey.”
The works are among those in which Yang consistently inspires glowing praise. After a recital at the Sydney Opera House, the Australian responded: 
“The strongest impression left by young South Korea-born pianist Joyce Yang’s recital was a dramatic sense of musical contrast. Sustaining a rich, full-bodied tone and propulsive drive, Yang captured the volatile nature and shimmering textures of Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Sonata, while the delicate, reflective accounts of Earl Wild’s transcriptions of three Rachmaninoff songs illustrated her sensitive side.
“In Schumann’s FantasiestückeYang’s mixture of cantabile phrasing, ferociously fast cascade of notes and moments of playfulness paid tribute to the composer’s self-described Eusebius-Florestan (introverted-extroverted) dual personality.
“Bartók’s Out of Doors suite featured the most violent contrasts of all.”
The Boston Classical Review also singled out Yang’s way with the Bartók, describing the suite as “a brilliantly percussive showpiece of technical demands, with tricky pedaling, trilling everywhere and motoric, pounding left-hand sections,” and finding that “Yang made it all musical, no mean achievement.” The Dallas Morning News agreed, pronouncing hers “an authoritative, atmospheric and, where called for, virtuosic account of Bartók’s Out of Doors suite.” As a synesthete who conceives of music in terms of shape and color, Yang describes how she envisions the score for the opening measures of “The Night’s Music” from Out of Doors in a YouTube video.
Yang has been recognized as “one of the great chamber music players of her generation” (TheaterJones), and March 11 brings the release of the Brahms and Schumann piano quintets, which she recorded for Foghorn Classics with the Alexander Quartet, the first American ensemble to win the London International String Quartet Competition. After a recent appearance with the group, San Francisco Classical Voice reported:
“The mutual affection and respect between the quartet and Yang were evident in their performance of the titanic Brahms Piano Quintet in F minor. From the opening in unison to the passionate, angst-laden first theme, their vision was as one, singularly focused on the drama and story. Yet, as the music progressed, individual voices and characters were quite evident and leaped out of the tapestry, creating an illusion of vivid three-dimensionality.”
For the first of her trio of winter record releases, Yang partnered with Denmark’s Odense Symphony Orchestra under Alexander Lazarev to play Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 on Bridge Records. Her way with the concerto is well documented.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel calls her rendition “breathtaking,” while for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, it proves her “a mature artist, plumbing the depths of the concerto beyond a sparkling virtuosity.” The Aspen Times confirms:
Yang is more than a young pianist who can dazzle with sheer technique. What makes her special is what she does with the music. Sunday in the tent she tackled one of the most popular and familiar concertos in the literature, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, and created moment after moment that surprised a listener with a bit of extra musical insight.”
In live performance, Yang’s upcoming concerto highlights include the completion of her Rachmaninoff cycle with the Milwaukee Symphony and Edo de Waart (April 25–27), and she rejoins the conductor for more Rachmaninoff in Belgium at her Royal Flemish Philharmonic debut (May 30 & 31). She also performs Gershwin’s Concerto in F with the Fort Worth Symphony and Miguel Harth-Bedoya (March 7–9), Beethoven’s “Triple” Concerto with the Houston Symphony (May 1–4), and Bernstein’s “Age of Anxiety” with the Vancouver Symphony (May 10–12), besides joining forces with violinist Augustin Hadelich and guitarist Pablo Villegas at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC to present the premiere performance of their multi-sensory chamber program, “Tango, Song, and Dance,” on April 21.
A track listing for Wild Dreams and further details of Joyce Yang’s upcoming engagements are provided below. More information is available at her new web site,, and high-resolution photos, including cover art for all three new of her new album releases, may be downloaded here.
Joyce Yang: Wild Dreams
Avie Records
Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873 – 1943)
arr. Earl Wild (1915 – 2010)
1. Dreams, Op. 38, No. 5 (3:25)
2. Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14 (7:12)
Paul Hindemith (1895 – 1963)
In einer Nacht, Op. 15
3. I Müdigkeiten (1:35)
4. III Phantastisches Duett zweier Bäume vor dem Fenster (1:22)
5. VI Sehr lebhaft, flimmernd (0:52)
6. VII Nervosität, nicht schnell (0:54)
7. VIII Scherzo: Äusserst lebhaft (1:04)
Bela Bartók (1881 – 1945)
Out of Doors, Sz. 81, BB 89
8. With Drums and Pipes (1:45)
9. Barcarolla (2:56)
10. Musettes (3:37)
11. The Night’s Music (5:30)
12. The Chase (2:13)
Robert Schumann (1810 – 1856)
Fantasiestücke, Op. 12
13. Des Abends (3:07
14. Aufschwung (3:11)
15. Warum? (2:37)
16. Grillen (3:05)
17. In der Nacht (4:02)
18. Fabel (2:58)
19. Traumes Wirren (2:33)
20. Ende vom Lied (4:58)
Piano Sonata No. 2, Op 36
21. I Allegro agitato (8:01)
22. II Non allegro – Lento (6:00)
23. III L’istesso tempo – Allegro molto (5:41)
Joyce Yang: upcoming engagements
Feb 25
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Mozart: Piano Concerto in C minor, K. 491 
Orquestra Filarmônica de Minas Gerais 
March 7, 8, 9
Fort Worth, TX
Gershwin: Concerto in F 
Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra / Miguel Harth-Bedoya 
March 13, 14, 15
Jacksonville, FL
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3
Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra / Courtney Lewis
March 27, 28, 29
Melbourne, Australia
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra / Diego Matheuz
April 12
Springfield, MA
Gershwin: Concerto in F
Springfield Symphony Orchestra / Kevin Rhodes 
April 21
Washington DC 
The Kennedy Center, Terrace Theater
“Tango, Song, and Dance”
With Augustin Hadelich, violin; Pablo Villegas, guitar
April 25, 26, 27
Milwaukee, WI
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 4 (conclusion of Rachmaninoff cycle)
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra / Edo de Waart 
May 1, 3, 4
Houston, TX
Beethoven: “Triple” Concerto
Houston Symphony / Thomas Dausgaard 
With Frank Huang, violin; Brinton Smith, cello
May 2
Houston, TX 
Woodlands Salon Series
May 10, 11, 12
Vancouver, BC
Bernstein: Symphony No. 2, “The Age of Anxiety”
Vancouver Symphony / Kazuyoshi Akiyama 
May 30, 31
Antwerp, Belgium
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2
Royal Flemish Philharmonic / Edo de Waart – new site
@JoyceYangPiano on Twitter
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© 21C Media Group, February 2014

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