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Wynona Yinuo Wang

Wynona Yinuo Wang in Recital (2CD)

Sonatas by Beethoven, Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Janáček display the artistry and pianistic firepower of Wynona Yinuo Wang in live performances from the 2023 Sydney International Piano Competition, in which she was a popular finalist.

As a finalist at The Sydney, Wang demonstrated a questing musical mind in her chosen solo repertoire. The Beijing-born, Juilliard-trained pianist explored the form and the expressive power of the Sonata as a genre through four landmark examples of the genre. Beethoven’s ‘Appassionata’ stands among the tragic-heroic of his mid-period masterpieces. Its narrative is purely musical, and yet the feelings within the score are scarcely contained by the notes, inspiring generations of Romantic composers to place themselves, their emotions and their relationships with the rest of the world at the centre of their works.

The Dante Sonata became the first of many tributes paid by Franz Liszt to the Italian poet and The Divine Comedy. Halfway between fantasia and sonata, the piece plots a treacherously virtuosic course through themes of hell and damnation, inspired by lines from Dante’s Inferno. Rachmaninoff was inspired by an even more influential literary epic, Goethe’s Faust, to compose his own First Piano Sonata, in which each movement depicts the anti-hero, his lover Gretchen and the devil Mephistopheles in Lisztian terms. Janáček brought the evolving story of the sonata into the 20th century with the two surviving movements of his Sonata 1.X.1905, responding not to tragedy in literature but to the real-life killing of a carpenter’s apprentice on the streets of Brno.

In live and compellingly spontaneous accounts from the 2023 Sydney, Wynona Yinuo Wang accompanied these sonatas with Rachmaninoff in songful vein, with his own transcription of his popular Daisies romance, and his G flat major Prelude. Four movements from Ravel’s late Le tombeau de Couperin complement two enchanting Preludes from the set of 12 composed by the contemporary Australian composer Aristea Mellos, a seguidilla and a lullaby.

CD 1

L. v. BEETHOVEN
1-3. Piano Sonata No 23 in F minor, Op 57 ‘Appassionata’

A. MELLOS
4-5. Preludes – Book One

S. RACHMANINOFF
6. Six Romances, Op. 38

F. LISZT
7. Années de pèlerinage – Deuxième Année, S.161

CD 2

L. JANÁČEK
1-2. Piano Sonata ‘1. X. 1905’ (From the Street)

M. RAVEL
3-6. Le tombeau de Couperin, M. 68

S. RACHMANINOFF
7. Prelude in G flat major, Op. 23 No. 10
8-10. Piano Sonata No 1 in D minor, Op. 28