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Sang Woo Kang
Blogcritics, May 2012

…I am particularly impressed by acclaimed concert pianist Klara Min’s efforts to spotlight works by Korean composers in her recording Pa-mun: Ripples on Water, released on the Naxos label in 2011.

…“Pa-mun,”…composed by Younghi Pagh-Paan, is a soothing musical description of wave reflections on water…The dynamics, superbly controlled by Min, are never overpowering and the ripples…never become aggressive either in speed or volume. This piece, as an opener, colors the rest of the pieces with a contemplative mood.

“Interludium A”…is a majestic later work of Yun’s, and here Klara Min’s interpretation skills are highlighted. This piece was executed flawlessly, and one got a sense of the improvisatory nature of the piece with its shifts in dynamics, color, and layers.

The “Piano Sketches” by Sukhi Kang are a beautifully constructed series of three short pieces that also sound somewhat like variations on ripples on the water. With her beautiful phrasings and strategic pedaling, Min cultivates an awareness of sound and motion as well as its absence.

“Prelude No. 8” is a wonderfully minimalistic piece of work built around a dense mist of sound, also with the use of pentachords that lend to its Asian sound. Strands of melody emerge from this web, separate and distinct. I admire Min’s control in this piece. The sixteenth notes somehow retain their articulation without becoming either muddy or dry, and the top lines are always sparkling and clear. This piece was one of the highlights of the set, and I enjoyed it immensely.

The third piece in the set, “Okbinyo,” has more folk characteristics than the other two last pieces…the piece for all its seeming simplicity, is arresting. Min’s approach in these pieces is understated and delicately expressive.

I applaud Klara Min’s effort to record and promote such fine pieces of piano repertoire by Korean composers. Min succeeds in presenting the vibrancy of a different musical culture. © 2012 Read complete review

Scene Magazine, March 2012

Western and Eastern ideas of aesthetic beauty merge on this recently released Naxos compilation of piano pieces by Korean composers…the expositions presented here…retain stillness, clarity and purpose…The opening piece on the CD—Younghi Pagh-Paan’s ‘Pa-mun’ exemplifies the Koreans’ collective approach to composition, demonstrating a style that resonates thematically within the pastoral tradition of the West while retaining the nuance and sense of stark natural beauty that characterizes many Asian musical works. Allusions to the natural world are…evident in Isang Yun’s ‘Five Pieces for Piano’, as well as the lumbering opening movement of Chung Gil Kim’s abridged suite, ‘Memory of Childhood’…it is pianist Klara Min’s impeccable performance here—and throughout the recording—that subtly suggests to listeners nothing in nature ends without something else being born. Profoundly affecting. © 2012 Scene Magazine Read complete review

Stephen Estep
American Record Guide, November 2011

Min plays with the most ravishing piano tone I’ve heard…Her dynamic control is out of this world—anyone who can make silk out of dissonance this strong is a top-notch artist in my book. Anybody’s music would be served well by Min’s touch.

To read the complete review, please visit American Record Guide online.

MusicWeb International, October 2011

…the music is absorbing in its way, and Klara Min’s piano playing is demonstrably intelligent, technically assured and, where necessary, delicate or muscly.

Sound quality is invariably excellent at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and this recording is no exception.

Rick Anderson
Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist, September 2011

There is tone poetry and twelve-tone abstraction and expressionist experimentation, and all of it is played both expertly and sympathetically by pianist Klara Min. Pagh-Paan’s title composition is one of the loveliest on the program, followed by Yun’s twelve-tone-influenced “Five Pieces.” Recommended.

V. Vasan, August 2011

…Min clearly chooses which notes to emphasize, giving shape to these patterns, and this makes the piece engaging…Min is able to bring mystery into this entire work, which is sometimes dark and menacing…Klara Min has done a worthy job of tackling challenging music by the leading composers of her homeland.

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