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Robert Cummings
Classical Net, June 2015

Hao is a subtle artist, always aware of the emotional tenor of each piece, deftly balancing main and secondary lines, and always seeming to find the right tempo.

…here is yet another excellent addition to this fine Naxos project: I’ve reviewed a half dozen of them…but the two discs by Duanduan Hao are easily among the most impressive. Highly recommended! © 2015 Classical Net Read complete review



C. Michael Bailey
All About Jazz, April 2015

Hao’s articulation is very precise here… © 2015 All About Jazz Read complete review



Brian Wigman
Classical Net, April 2015

Duanduan Hao clearly appreciates this music. He plays with a cheerful grace that infuses each piece with individuality. Truth be told, after an hour and a quarter, these pieces can sound awfully similar. But Hao gives each work a real sense of character, finding particular drama in the darker, minor key works. Better yet, the more lighthearted pieces gain personality through Hao’s careful phrasing and attention to dynamics. © 2015 Classical Net Read complete review




Jed Distler
ClassicsToday.com, March 2015

…the young artist’s style is evolving positively, for the most part.

…the motoric D major K. 336 stands out for Hao’s well-calibrated balances and dynamic organization. © 2015 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, March 2015

Sharing this complete cycle of Domenico Scarlatti’s keyboard sonatas between several pianists proves how different the approach has become in modern times. The use of a sustaining pedal on a modern piano tempts all sorts of personal slants that are possible, Duanduan Hao looking to create a modern harpsichord. Born in China in 1990, and winner in 2009 of the Shanghai International Piano Competition, he keeps everything dry and staccato. As I commented of his previous discs, without using the pedals today’s concert grand cannot balance the music with the powerful left-hand sounds that were a feature of the finest harpsichords of Scarlatti’s time. That is particularly noticeable in the D major, K118, where a big and juicy harpsichord would send excited shivers down the spine with the upward progression in the left hand to counter the right hand filigree. Let me not labour the point, as regular readers will know that I fail to see the point of playing them on a modern piano. Setting that aside, these are solid, and at times, as in the stop-go F major, K541 sonata, rather whimsical performances. As the series is not performing the cycle in chronological order, Duanduan has opted for eighteen of the shorter one-movement sonatas—mostly composed in the 1750’s for the Spanish court in Venice—and I much enjoy his nimble fingers in the decorative work. Indeed throughout the disc his playing is impeccable, and, when provided with the opportunity, he shows an admirable technique. Recorded in the UK, the sound quality is excellent, and those looking for piano performances will find considerable pleasure. © 2015 David’s Review Corner





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