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WQXR (New York), July 2014

Yang and Hadulla seem to have a lot of fun with this music, playing with style and finesse. © 2014 WQXR (New York) Read complete review

Robert Maxham
Fanfare, July 2014

This last volume of Sarasate’s works contains a mix of the familiar and the unfamiliar, but Yang makes everything sound fresh. For those who have enjoyed the first three volumes, this one makes the necessary complement and comes as strongly recommended in every way as did its predecessors…And those listeners should not miss future Sarasate releases by both the formidable Yang and her accompanist, Hadulla. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

John Whitmore
MusicWeb International, May 2014

Yet again in her Sarasate series for Naxos, Tianwa Yang continues to delight us with her magnificent musicianship.

Turning to this latest volume, the superlative standards are maintained. Ms Yang deserves a 10 out 10 for her performances which are captured in warm, resonant sound. …Markus Hadulla shows again what a fine accompanist he is.

Many of us still have pedestals reserved for the great players of the golden age—Milstein, Heifetz, Kogan and Gitlis to name just four of my own favourite violinists. This young lady is up there with the best of them. This is a must-buy for fans of violin artistry and the music of Sarasate. This is fabulous stuff and to top it all we have a very generous playing time at bargain price. Just buy it. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Elaine Fine
American Record Guide, May 2014

Yang and Hadulla play brilliantly… © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Edward Greenfield
Gramophone, May 2014

This is the eighth disc of Sarasate that the violinist Tianwa Yang has recorded for Naxos. It has the great merit of including a high proportion of popular favourites, making it something of a fun record, given the brilliant performances of this duo.

…a delightful disc, beautifully recorded in well-balanced sound. © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, April 2014

Peking native Tianwa Yang, assisted by German-born pianist Markus Hadulla, gives accounts of rare and delectable transcriptions and arrangements by the Spanish composer Pablo Sarasate…that reflect her penchant for the zestful virtuosity that only this kind of music can provide. In his day the top of the class among violinists…Sarasate differed from the multitude of virtuosi in that his compositions, written for his own private use, were not only absolutely stunning show-pieces but, as Yang shows us in the present program, they were works of real musical substance as well. © 2014 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review

Werner Fritsch
Gewandhaus-Magazin, March 2014

Together with her partner, the pianist Markus Hadulla, Tianwa Yang presents the “Piècen”, which Sarasate had arranged to perform as encore, with a fantastic elegance and eloquence.

A real highlight on this album is the aria-transcription of “Ombra mai fu” from Handel’s opera “Xerxes”, with Tianwa Yang retrieving from her Guarneri-Violin pure sound delicacy, however a maximum of tonal intensity. © 2014 Hessische/Niedersächsische Allgemeine

Edward Bhesania
The Strad, March 2014

The lesser-known of Sarasate’s fantasies on Gounod’s Faust, entitled Souvenirs de Faust, is a welcome rarity and Yang is especially stylish in the two Leclair sonata movements. Captured in a recording that conveys Yang’s range of articulation and tonal colour, this is a worthy conclusion to her Sarasate series. © 2014 The Strad Read complete review

Albert Lam
MusicWeb International, March 2014

…this latest installment in violinist Tianwa Yang’s ongoing series of the violin works of Pablo de Sarasate is another winner…While many a violinist have cherry-picked one or two works from this repertoire for their recordings and recitals, to my knowledge no other violinist has made the decision to record these works in completion, and I commend Yang for her efforts to do so…Yang performs them beautifully with sensitive accompaniment from Markus Hadulla. The booklet notes, penned by the American violinist and Sarasate specialist Joseph Gold, provide unique historical and artistic insight into the diversity of compositions on this album. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Mary Kunz Goldman
The Buffalo News, March 2014

Violinist Tianwa Yang brings loving attention to this music and has a more humble way with it than one might expect. © 2014 The Buffalo News Read complete review

Julian Haylock
BBC Music Magazine, March 2014


Yang’s tonal purity and transparency sounds particularly engaging in Sarasate’s enchanting realisations of the Baroque repertoire, most notably captivating sonata movements by the unaccountably neglected Jean-Pierre Guignon and Jean-Baptiste Senaille, and favourites by Bach (‘Air on the G String’) and Handel (‘Ombra mai fu’). She also usefully includes Joachim Raff’s La fie d’amour, a heart-warming piece hardly ever played today yet once famous as Sarasate’s signature tune, and most beguiling of all the Souvenirs de Faust (based on Gounod’s opera), which features some meltingly seductive cantabile playing. © 2014 BBC Music Magazine

Terry Robbins
The WholeNote, February 2014

The excellent 8-volume Naxos series of the complete violin music of Pablo Sarasate reaches completion with the issue of Volume 4 of the Music for Violin and Piano—Transcriptions and Arrangements…Violinist Tianwa Yang has been in tremendous form throughout the series, and displays the same warmth, dazzling technique and interpretative skills that marked the earlier volumes. German pianist Markus Hadulla provides excellent accompaniment in short pieces by Moszkowski, Chopin, Handel and Bach, and by the French Baroque violinists Jean-Pierre Guignon, Jean-Joseph de Mondonville, Jean-Marie Leclair and Jean-Baptiste Senaillé. The two more substantial works on the CD are Sarasate’s own Souvenirs de Faust on themes from the Gounod opera, and Joachim Raff’s exceptionally difficult La fée d’amour, which was apparently Sarasate’s favourite concert item. Needless to say, Yang seems to navigate the challenges with effortless ease. © 2014 The WholeNote Read complete review

Lucy Jeffery
MusicWeb International, February 2014

We encounter Sarasate’s spontaneity and coalescence of tenacity and timidity in these distinctly Spanish-sounding transcriptions and arrangements. With a selection ranging from Moszkowski’s Guitarra to Handel’s Largo, this exquisite CD gives voice to the multifarious sentiments and expressions, both of the introvert and of the showman. Violinist Tianwa Yang accompanied by pianist Markus Hadulla re-invigorate these eclectic pieces with an assured contemporariness and tender nostalgia. The listener is left feeling utterly charmed and hankering after Yang’s eloquence and the perfumed bouquet of flowery top-notes. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Gary Lemco
Audiophile Audition, February 2014

Violinist Tianwa Yang complements her four-CD survey of the music of Spanish virtuoso Pablo Sarasate (1844–1908) with (rec. 2010 and 2012) fourteen transcriptions that meant to display that artist’s command of technique and exquisite intonation as well as bravura effects. Several of the transcriptions come directly from the keyboard repertory of equally potent piano composers, such as the striking Guitarra of Moritz Moszkowski and the various pieces by Frederic Chopin. Sarasate transposes the Chopin Waltz No 8 in D-flat to A-flat better to suit his instrument. The A Minor Waltz lends itself to violinist Yang’s own pure legato quite effectively. The elongated trills and high notes in the Nocturne in E-flat Major, Op 9, No 2 testify to a poetic temperament in all principals.

If the bravura aspects of Sarasate’s art and Yang’s own playing have remained relatively subdued, they make their presence known through the rare Souvenirs de Faust (1863), fashioned by Sarasate…The flute qualities of Sarasate’s own 1724 Stradivarius E string became a constant source of pride, calling for writing that showcases the effect. Later on the disc, in the Bach transcription from the Suite No 3, the “Air on the G String,” we have a masterly exhibition of this trump card.

The ensuing six tracks explore the refined delicacies of the Baroque era, particularly the French violin school. With the familiar Largo from Handel’s Xerxes, and the aforementioned Air of Bach, violinist Yang demonstrates her long and vibrant singing line in a bit of German repertory. The other rarity among the French masters is a stately Allegro from Jean-Baptiste Senaille (1687–1750), a member of the Twenty-Four Violins of the King.

If the Bach Air provided Sarasate with his favorite encore, the unusual La fee d’amour of Joachim Raff (1822–1882) often informed his major concert repertoire. Raff’s music has been credited with anticipating that of Sibelius and Richard Strauss. The seventeen-minute Fairy of Love tests, punishes, and celebrates the artistry of both violin and piano. Yang shows off some richly harmonized double stops and throaty glissandos, and pianist Hadulla—who has been a faithful, velvet glove in these excursions—has his own hands full of liquid triplets and staccato runs. After a stunning cadenza, some of whose effects we know from the Mendelssohn Concerto, the piano rejoins Yang for presto finale in light touches guaranteed to peel some paint off the walls. © 2014 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

Chris Morgan
Scene Magazine, February 2014

For classical violinists, the music of Sarasate is an essential part of any well-rounded player’s repertoire. This fourth and final installment of a lauded Naxos collection featuring the Spanish composer’s greatest and rarest works is a definitive offering that scholars, critics and violin aficionados will be referencing for years to come. The challenging task of realizing Sarasate’s music falls to internationally reputed violinist Tianwa Yang and pianist Markus Hadulla. Yang’s finest playing comes during ‘Souvenirs de Faust’, where her prescient style and impeccable technique come together in a celebration of brilliant musicianship. From a production perspective, the recording is engineered to Naxos’ exacting standards, continuing the label’s longstanding commitment to the preservation of composers’ lesser-known works. A fitting end to an extensive journey through the frontiers of a gifted and creative mind, this compilation completes the canonical cataloging of Sarasate’s violin and piano music. © 2014 Scene Magazine Read complete review, January 2014

Tianwa Yang scales the summits of the works’ requirements highly effectively, and Markus Hadulla provides exemplary support while remaining firmly in the background, as any accompanist of Sarasate would have been expected to do. This is a fine and highly listenable CD… © 2014 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2014

Essentially for his own use as a touring virtuoso violinist, many of Pablo Sarasate, transcriptions and arrangements have become part of the repertoire as bonbons. Unlike those by Liszt, these are mainly straightforward and lightweight in content, the melodic line given to the violin, while the piano has what is leftover. Of course Sarasate could not resist decorating a few passages with finger-knotting virtuosity, but in between they look to the soloist to produce a creamy and seductive quality…Tianwa Yang, is undoubtedly one of the most gifted among the younger generation, her dexterity throughout is quite remarkable, and nowhere more so than in his Souvenirs de Faust, where he lets his imagination take wing. There follows well-meaning arrangements of early 18th century works, Handel’s aria, Ombra mai fu, taken as usual, at a very slow tempo. At the close of the disc comes the outstanding track, Raff’s La fee d’amour. I had always thought of this as an original work by Raff with either orchestra or piano accompaniment, but whatever the origination it is an exceedingly beautiful work that cries out for its orchestral backdrop. The excellent pianist, Markus Hadulla, dutifully provides what is often an uninspiring task through many of the fifteen tracks…The sound is well balanced. © 2014 David’s Review Corner

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