About this Recording
8.572341 - Piano Recital: Yun-yi Qin - MOZART, W.A. / SCHUBERT, F. / HAYDN, J. / GRANADOS, E. / SCRIABIN, A. / FRIEDMAN, I. / LISZT, F. / PRIETO, C.
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Yun-yi Qin: Piano Recital


The tune Liu Yang River was originally composed in 1949 for a folk play by Tang Biguang. This piano transcription, written in 1972 by Wang Jian-zhong, skilfully retains the folk-based elements of the original.Wang Jian-zhong was born in 1933 and in 1958 graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory, where he went on to teach, later being appointed its vice-president. Among his most important works for piano are Five Yunnan Folksongs, A Hundred Birds Paying Respect to the Phoenix and Plum Blossom Melody.

Mozart’s Variations, K.573, proved to be one of the last piano works he wrote. They were composed during a journey he made to Northern Germany in the spring of 1789 in the hope of obtaining the patronage of King Friedrich Wilhelm II, and are based on a minuet by Jean-Pierre Duport, taking the original work into a new realm of complexity.

The Sonata in A minor, D.845, is the work of the tormented and melancholy Schubert of the final, masterful piano sonatas. Dating from 1823, it opens with a dense Moderato, overflowing with energy, to which the following Andante provides a clear contrast. The Scherzo and Rondo, meanwhile, display an agile writing indebted to Haydn, allowing a momentary light to shine in what were already difficult and painful times for the composer.

Written in 1771 and published in 1780, Haydn’s Sonata in C minor, Hob.XVI:20, is the sixth in a set written for the Auenbrugger sisters. It has all the characteristics of the Sturm und Drang aesthetic, with an unusually powerful first movement. The work’s epicentre is the moving Andante, one of the greatest such movements Haydn ever wrote, whose tone may be due to a period of serious illness that the composer had endured in 1770. A tempestuous finale brings this masterwork to an end.

Composed as a separate goyesca, or Goya-like scene (although Falla considered it to be the opening work of the Goyescas cycle), Granados’s short piece El pelele (The Puppet Man) is a luminously rhythmical dance. The piano writing is dazzling rather than lyrical and dreamlike, as in many of his works for the instrument.

Scriabin’s Waltz in A flat major, Op. 38 (1903) appears to float upon the unstable harmonies so characteristic of its composer. Although Scriabin was inspired to create large-scale cosmic-musical works, he was also a gifted writer of shorter pieces such as this evocative waltz.

Ignaz Friedman, the Polish pianist and composer, represents the virtuoso performer so beloved of the first half of the twentieth century. Music Box is a short work featuring a beautiful phrase in the right hand—the kind of piece that falls somewhere between salon music and an encore.

Liszt’s Études d’exécution transcendante were composed in 1851, revisions of an earlier set of pieces dating from 1837. Together with Chopin’s Études, they form the cornerstone of the Romantic piano study repertoire. No. 10 in F minor, Allegro agitato molto, is a furiously energetic piece designed to test the pianist’s technical abilities to the full.

Commissioned by the Jaén Provincial Council and Spain’s Centre for the Dissemination of Contemporary Music (CDMC) for the fiftieth Jaén International Piano Competition, Jaén 2008 by Claudio Prieto is ideally suited to the needs of such a competition, while also reflecting the spirit of its composer, who achieves an intelligent blend of tradition and modernity in this perfectly structured piece.

Gonzalo Pérez Chamorro
Paragraph on Liu Yang River by Pan Yang
English translation: Susannah Howe


The Jaén Prize International Piano Competition

The Jaén Prize was established in 1953. It has its roots in the old and now defunct Club Alpino, a short-lived cultural and sporting society. The prize was set up with relatively modest aims by the pianist Joaquín Reyes Cabrera and the architect Pablo Castillo García-Negrete. The Club actually gave nothing but its name to the prize, because the two prizes given in 1953 and 1954 were donated by a music-lover from Jaén, Pablo Castillo García-Negrete. It was in this year that the promoters of the prize looked for stronger sponsorship, and the result was the active and collaborative presence of the Instituto de Estudios Giennenses. The architect Pablo Castillo, member of the studies Corporation, was named adviser and the name was replaced by that of Premio Jaén de Piano (Jaén Piano Prize). At the beginning the prize was a national one, but in the 1970s it assumed international status, a position it now holds, as Gustav A. Alink, the author of a number of books on international piano competitions, confirms.

The first award of this new prize was given to Jacinto Matute in 1956 and consisted of 5,000 pesetas (30 euros). Gradually this amount has been increased, reaching the sum of 25,000 euros in 2008 for the first prize, 12,000 for the second, 8,000 for the third, 6,000 for the “Rosa Sabater” award, and another 6,000 euros for the Contemporary Music award. Since 1993 the competition has included a mandatory work written by a Spanish composer for this purpose, a composition that is subsidised by the Centro de Difusión de la Música Contemporánea of the Ministry of Culture and which, since 1997, has been published and distributed by the Provincial Assembly. The list of composers who have composed for the Prize, from 1993 to 2009, includes Manuel Castillo, Carlos Cruz de Castro, Antón García Abril, Valentín Ruiz, Ángel Oliver, Zulema de la Cruz, Tomás Marco, José García Román, Xavier Montsalvatge, José Luis Turina, Luis de Pablo, Eneko Vadillo, Leonardo Balada, Josep Soler, Joan Guinjoan, Claudio Prieto and Daniel Mateos.

Over the years various leading figures have served on the competition jury, including Javier Alfonso, who often served as president of the jury. After his death various leading musicians have taken this position, including Guillermo Gonzalez. The present president of the jury is Enrique Pérez de Guzmán. Among those who have served on the competition jury are Marcelle Heuclín, Nicole Henriot, Salomon Mikowsky, Leslie Wright, Teresa Rutkowska, Valentina Kamenikova, Antonio de Raco, Hans Graf, Jean-Paul Sevilla, Ronald Farren-Price, María Fernanda Wansneider, Yuko Fujimura, Carmen Graf-Adnet, Marta Marchena, Begoña Uriarte, Karl-Hermann Mrongovius, Elza Kolodin, Alfred Mouledous, Ralf Nattkemper, Dag Achatz, Yukie Nagai, Rosalyn Tureck, Jean-François Heisser, and Paul Badura-Skoda, among others. Among Spanish jury-members we may quickly mention Rosa Sabater, Joaquín Soriano, Ramón Coll, Josep Colom, Mario Monreal, Rafael Quero, Joaquín Reyes, Perfecto García Chornet, Pilar Bilbao, Esteban Sánchez, Antonio Baciero, Fernando Puchol, Julián López Gimeno, and Pedro Jiménez Cavallé, for many years secretary of the jury.

Outstanding pianists have won prizes in the competition, including the Spanish pianists Begoña Uriarte, Joaquín Parra, Mario Monreal, Rafael Orozco, Joaquín Soriano, José María Pinzolas, Josep Colom and Javier Perianes. Other winners have been Boaz Sharon, Ewa Osinska, Elza Kolodin, Jean-François Heisser, Boris Bloch, Michiko Tsuda, John Salmon, Hüseyin Sermet, Benedetto Lupo, Martin Zehn, Brenno Ambrosini, Olivier Cazal, Sergei Tarasov, Anna Vinnitskaya, Ilya Rachkovsky and many other important pianists.

Nowadays the competition attracts significant international participation. It includes three eliminating rounds and a final test with orchestra, in 2009 the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada. The Jaén Prize competition is held at the Jaén Conservatory and the Infanta Leonor Theatre.

English version: Ángel García Rus & Gonzalo Pérez Chamorro

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