New Releases: Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Yoonie Han and Pallade Musica

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FREE Facebook Download: Pianist Yoonie Han plays “Wohin?” from Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin*

This week's featured albums include two debut releases: love songs played by the rising young pianist Yoonie Han and Venetian music from the Montreal early-music ensemble Pallade Musica. And the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, takes on Schumann's four symphonies.

Love and Longing
Yoonie Han, piano
Steinway & Sons
Available at

Yoonjung "Yoonie" Han has built an impressive resume – degrees from Juilliard and Curtis, a doctorate in progress at SUNY Stony Brook, and several competition appearances including an appearance at the Van Cliburn. The 29-year-old Korean pianist signed with Steinway in 2012 and with this release, has free reign to present her ideas across a full album. "Love and Longing” features several lush showpieces including Prokofiev’s piano arrangement on a bit of Romeo and Juliet, Franz Liszt’s extravagant reimagining of the Liebestod from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, plus six songs by Schubert in arrangements by Liszt and a pair of gauzy numbers by Reynaldo Hahn. Han, who has previously been heard on WQXR's McGraw-Hill Companies Young Artists Showcase, shows a willingness to move beyond the standard piano chestnuts and think in thematic terms with her programming.


Schumann: The Symphonies
Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Deutsche Grammophon
Available at

For his first complete symphony cycle recording, Yannick Nézet-Séguin turns to the four by Robert Schumann, works known for their stirring lyricism and sweeping force, as well as their thick orchestrations and occasional formal awkwardness. The French-Canadian conductor, who is music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, brings a pretty straightforward interpretative approach to these pieces, occasionally driving the tempos hard but other doing nothing that will raise eyebrows. The Chamber Orchestra of Europe is a virtuoso ensemble that turns on a dime, as the players do in these fine live performances recorded in Paris.

Verso Venezia
Pallade Musica
ATMA Classique
Available at

This is the first album by Pallade Musica, the latest early-music ensemble to hail from north of the Canadian border. With a Baroque violin, Baroque cello, theorbo and harpsichord, the ensemble focuses on instrumental music by three Venetian composers who were pivotal as the Renaissance period gave way to the Baroque: Castello, Legrenzi and Merula. Each wrote canzonas and sonatas, multipart works featuring an interweaving of lines and textures. Much of the music is more decorous than the late Baroque fireworks of Vivaldi or Corelli, but listen carefully: some poignant moments emerge, as in Merula’s mystical canzona "La Miradoro" or Castello’s intricate trio sonata, "La Foscari." Pallade Musica plays with unfailing polish and taste throughout.

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