Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonata n° 30 in E major, opus 109
Franz Liszt: Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude, S. 173 n° 3
Frédéric Chopin: Waltz in E-Flat major, opus 18 “Grande valse brillante” – Waltz in A-Flat major, opus 34, n° 1 “Valse brillante” – Waltz in A-Flat major, opus 42 “Grande valse”
ChangYong Shin (Piano)
Recording: Steinway Hall, New York City, New York (January 22-23, 2019) – 51’48
Steinway & Sons 30115 – Booklet in English
Having been honored with several awards over the past three years along with his first Steinway & Sons release in 2018, ChangYong Shin is now developing an individualized poetic flair. Like a sun cresting the horizon for the first time, his awakening to Beethoven, Liszt and Chopin adds immeasurable excitement with frequent bouts of unexpected musical diplomacy.
Those who haven’t previously encountered the talents of this man will find the opening of Beethoven’s Sonata n° 30 an excellent venue for discovery. While the first two movements outline in severe contrasts, the closing “Gesangvoll, mit innigster Empfindung” is the dominant weight and a mini-showcase unto itself. Beethoven’s breakdown of sensations and contrapuntal measures are carefully apportioned and given adroit clairvoyance.
Save it to the end when the young pianist dares to take off on his own flight into Frédéric Chopin’s waltzes. At times the outpouring argues an atypical landscaping that’s both stultifying and stunning. The “Grande valse brillante” typifies the pianist’s notion of frivolity and musical wanderlust: grace notes grandly punctuate with emphatic purpose while pauses and tempos are executed in some of the most uncharacteristic places. The same can also be said inside the airy “Valse brillante”, but that’s what makes the listen even more interesting and unusual. ChangYong Shin isn’t shy about the way he desires to respect the prodigious composer. The freshness of freedom is best exemplified in the closing “Grande valse”...spectacular positioning, crowned by an unusually delectable coup.
M. Shin’s show stopper is undoubtedly the Bénédiction with all of its Lisztian glory and celestial verve. One cannot escape inhaling M. Shin’s exhilaration of this selection from Harmonies poétiques et religieuses. While meditative solemnity is shown with straightforward, unfiltered puritanical formation in the second section, it’s the ensuing compartment that M. Shin models forward with vibrant emotion and profundity. Here’s where he stakes claim with his own vision of worldly solitude. It’s hard resisting a continuous return to this depiction, for ChangYong Shin has wondrous clarity of this œuvre.
ChangYong Shin has set his own musical compass, choosing to handle Beethoven, Liszt and Chopin with a fresh spirit.