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Brent Auerbach
American Record Guide, November 2009

The first piece, by the 20th Century composer Tang Biguang, is a brief, folk-inspired charmer, yet not trite in any way. Qin does a fine job supporting the simple melodies with flowing counter-lines, and demonstrates much poise in the way she slows the music down in preparation for occasional sections of harp-like glissandos. She creates a great sense of freedom and openness with these flourishes.

The next three selections present a central block of more conventional pieces. They include a set of variations by Mozart and sonatas by Schubert and Haydn (one each) cast in minor keys. Qin is at her best in this, the most classical portion of the program…she infuses the Mozart with just the right blend of delicacy and strength. Her Haydn playing is slightly better, in that extra care is taken to shape and twist the trajectory of the melodies.

David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2009

Born in China, Yun-yi Qin began her competition successes at the age of nine, becoming the 2008 winner of the Jaen Prize International Piano Competition at the age of sixteen, this recording being part of that award. Among the deluge of piano competitions that take place around the world each year, this one plays an important role in Spain’s musical firmament, Rafael Orozco and Jean-Francois Heisser among previous winners. The very varied programme probably stems from the works she played in the competition, her sober view of Schubert’s Sixteenth Sonata needing to smile a little more in the Rondo finale, though she does make a very plausible period sound from her piano in Haydn’s charming C minor Sonata No. 33. Surrounding these major scores we have a very outgoing account of the tenth of Lizst’s 12 Etudes d’execution transcendent; a red-blooded approach to Granados’s El pelele and an account of Scriabin’s A flat major waltz that takes her to the edge of her comfort zone. The disc ends with the overtly modern Jean 2008, the newly commissioned ‘test piece’ from the Spanish composer, Claudio Prieto. Mozart’s pretty Variations on a Menuet by Duport; Friedman’s Music Box, and, from her homeland, Liu Yang River by Tang Biguang complete the disc. A talented young pianist that promises much for the future. Sound quality is good.

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