ISANG YUN: Sunrise Falling

ISANG YUN Sunrise Falling_PTC5186693_Cover_Large (1)

ISANG YUN: Sunrise Falling

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Uncompromising in his life as he was in his music, Korean composer Isang Yun (1917–95) held fast to his dream of a united Korea, even as he was unjustly accused of espionage for North Korea and sentenced to imprisonment and death. From a life of unimaginable oppression and torture emerges music of raw emotional power, heard on ISANG YUN: Sunrise Falling, a centennial commemoration of Yun’s life and music from the PENTATONE Oxingale Series. Maestro Dennis Russell Davies, a longtime collaborator and advocate for Yun, curates the program and conducts the Bruckner Orchestra Linz. A cellist himself, Yun’s fascinating, highly autobiographical Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra (1975/76) anchors the album. In a live performance, cellist Matt Haimovitz tackles the controlled chaos of Yun’s score, bursting with passion, despair, and new timbral textures, such as the use of a plectrum to emulate the Korean zither, the kŏmun’go. Yun’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 (1981) features violinist Yumi Hwang-Williams, who reflects upon her own emotional return to Korea in 2015, where she performed the work at a Festival in honor of Yun. The double album also includes the orchestral Fanfare & Memorial, and additional illuminating solo works by Yun performed by pianist Maki Namekawa, Hwang-Williams, and Haimovitz. 100 years after Isang Yun’s birth, the two Koreas still teeter on a razor’s edge, with ever more global ramifications. His music opens the gate to a lost, united land, with Yun’s own heart bleeding but ever hopeful.

MATT HAIMOVITZ is praised by The New York Times as a “ferociously talented cellist who brings his megawatt sound and uncommon expressive gifts to a vast variety of styles.” Along with his performances around the world, he currently holds positions at the Schulich School of Music in Montreal and as the first John Cage fellow at The New School’s Mannes School of Music. Haimovitz’s recent recordings include an album solo cello music by Philip Glass, on the Orange Mountain Music label, and, for the PENTATONE Oxingale series, TROIKA, music of the Slavic soul; The Cello Suites According to Anna Magdalena and its companion album, Overtures to Bach; among others.

DENNIS RUSSELL DAVIES is known for his extraordinary range of repertoire, technical brilliance and fearless music-making. An esteemed presence consistently at the forefront of both orchestral and operatic worlds, Davies is also an accomplished pianist. 2018 marks 49 seasons that Davies has held music directorships of prestigious international orchestras, while frequently guest conducting with major orchestras and opera companies worldwide. Davis is Music Director and Chief Conductor of the BRUCKNER ORCHESTER LINZ, one of the leading orchestras of Central Europe, and was recently appointed Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Filharmonie Brno.

YUMI HWANG-WILLIAMS is an American violinist of exceptional musicianship, recognized both for her stylish performances of the classics and her commitment to the works of present-day composers. Strings calls her “a modern Prometheus” who has “emerged as a fiery champion of contemporary classical music.” Hwang-Williams recently celebrated Leonard Bernstein’s 100th by performing Serenade with the Colorado Symphony (Denver), where she has been Concertmaster since 2000.

A leading figure among today’s pianists, MAKI NAMEKAWA is equally at home in classical music and the repertoire of our time. Namekawa records and performs frequently for major radio networks in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and France. In 2013, she performed the world premiere of the entire cycle of Philip Glass’ 20 Études for Solo Piano at Perth International Arts Festival under the participation of Glass himself, followed by concerts around the world. A best-selling double-CD of the complete Glass etudes was released by Orange Mountain Music in 2014.

TRACK LIST

ISANG YUN: Sunrise Falling

CD 1

Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra (1976)
1. I
2. (cadenzas)
3. II
4. III

Matt Haimovitz, cello
Bruckner Orchester Linz
Dennis Russell Davies, conductor

5. Interludium A (1982)

Maki Namekawa, piano

Glissées for Solo Cello (1970)
6. I
7. II
8. III
9. IV

Matt Haimovitz, cello

10 Fanfare & Memorial (1979)

Bruckner Orchester Linz
Dennis Russell Davies, conductor
Feat. Christoph Bielefeld, harp

CD 2

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 (1981)
1. I
2. II
3. III

Yumi Hwang-Williams, violin
Bruckner Orchester Linz
Dennis Russell Davies, conductor

Kontraste. Two Pieces for Violin solo (1987)
4. I
5. II

Yumi Hwang-Williams, violin

6 Gasa for Violin and Piano (1963)

Yumi Hwang-Williams, violin
Dennis Russell Davies, piano

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