The first decades of the 19th century saw tremendous changes in piano construction, granting the instrument not only greater power and range but also greater subtlety and depth of colour. Yi-heng Yang’s album, recorded on an original 1825 Graf piano, brings out this instrument’s strong affinity with the fantastical and the sublime. If you’ve never been convinced by the sound of a fortepiano, give this a listen!
Pianist and fortepianist Yi-heng Yang has appeared at Carnegie Hall, The Boston Early Music Festival, The Finchcocks Collection, The Cobbe Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and in collaboration with The New York Philharmonic Ensembles and The Serenata of Santa Fe.
Her discography spans from collaborations with visionary artists such as the Grammy award-winning tenor Karim Sulayman (“Where Only Stars Can Hear Us”, Avie Records) to groundbreaking explorations into historical performance practices with cellist Kate Bennett Wadsworth (Brahms Cello Sonatas, Deux-Elles), violinist Abigail Karr (Mendelssohn Violin Sonatas, Olde Focus), and harpsichordist Rebecca Cypess (“Sisters Face-to-Face”, Acis). She currently teaches historical improvisation at The Juilliard School.
FANNY MENDELSSOHN HENSEL
Four Lieder for Piano, Op. 8
1) No. 1 Allegro moderato (4:40)
2) No. 2 Andante con espressione (2:44)
3) No. 3 Larghetto (2:31)
4) No. 4 Wanderlied. Presto (2:43)
Novelletten, Op. 21
5) No. 1 Markirt und kräftig (5:10)
6) No. 8 Sehr lebhaft (11:48)
7) No. 2 Äusserst rasch und mit Bravour (5:56)
Piano Sonata in G Major, D. 894 ‘Fantasie’
8) Molto moderato e cantabile (17:35)
9) Andante (7:54)
10) Menuetto: Allegro moderato (4:17)
11) Allegretto (8:33)
“[The 19th-century fortepiano] has a beguilingly gentle and human sound… Yang, moreover, is superbly adept at bringing out the many veiled shades it can produce.”
–Gramophone, July 2020
“The delicacy of the Graf fortepiano’s sound, coupled with Yang’s expressive touch, create a rich atmosphere of longing and exploration.”
–Classical Voice North America, June 2022