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Sang Woo Kang
American Record Guide, September 2016

What makes this recording stand out among the “usual” collections of Schumann’s well-known works is the unfinished sketches and original movements. Lee begins the program with Gesänge der Frühe, composed towards the end of Schumann’s life. …beautiful and sensitive tone in the first movement. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2016

‘Bits and pieces’ composed at both ends of Robert Schumann’s life performed by Jinsang Lee, one of Korea’s burgeoning list of young international concert pianists. Already a prizewinner of several top-ranking competitions, including those in Hong Kong and Cologne, his most recent success came in the Concours Geza Anda in 2009 where he also took the special Schumann prize. In selecting this programme he has set himself the difficult task of bringing the appropriate degree of mature artistry to Schumann’s three Sonatas intended for young performers. The original recipients were his three daughters, starting with the youngest, and growing in length and difficulty as he passes through their differing ages. Lee applies the sensible course of taking a simple ‘face value’ approach, the result offering likable music—particularly so in the happy finale of the second sonata—though it is really the name of Schumann that causes us to listen to them. They were completed just before his final mental breakdown, as were the five pictures he created in Gesange der Fruhe (Songs of Dawn). It is certainly not in hindsight that there is something deeply sad in their content, even the filigree in the third that reminds me of falling rain. The third is utterly despondent, Lee capturing that mood to perfection. We then return to the young Schumann with the original finale to the Third Sonata that he began in 1836. Several revisions later, this was finally dropped in favour of a less tempestuous mood. We hear it here in a reconstruction made in 2010. After three eventually published sonatas, he seemingly started work on a Fourth, and in 2009 the Danish composer, Karl Aage Rasmussen, ‘completed’ the sketches of what was probably intended as the finale. It’s nature is much in line with the rejected finale to the Third. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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