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Yuja Wang|The American Project

The American Project

Yuja Wang, Louisville Orchestra, Teddy Abrams

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American composers set an excellent example in many ways, but if we could only choose one—should we be so ungrateful(!)—it would be their insolent, judicious refusal to choose between the high-brow and the popular, the lighthearted and the serious, the profane and the sacred… Moreover, they seem to dismiss this sort of binary categorization. Take African-American pioneers like Scott Joplin, for example, whose ragtimes opened up a vast and previously unexplored world by building a bridge between classical and jazz. Gershwin followed suit, and later on, the great musical theatre symphonists, led by Bernstein. These are all names which Michael Tilson Thomas has held dear since his early childhood. His invigorating prelude in ‘You Come Here Often’ (practically a programme in itself) summons forth the skippy grammar of the saloon parlour, passing through all manner of ‘Gershwinian’ harmonic twists—all in one single, jerky, repetitive but never passive motion, often waning towards minimalism à la John Adams. Two generations later, Teddy Abrams (b. 1987) composed his groundbreaking Piano Concerto. Spread out into 12 movements, the titles of each highlight the improvisational character of the work at large: ‘Solo’, ‘Exploration’, ‘Cadenza’. More than a century of musical tradition swirls through this rich work, which is sometimes big band, sometimes ‘Hollywood Revue’, with some unexpectedly tasty post-romantic detours. Yuja Wang, who is used to exploring beyond the conventional, is very at home with this sort of repertoire and takes great pleasure in slapping her listeners with such invigorating material. It’s a nice slap though! The kind that tells you ‘come on, put down your glass and come dance’. Indeed make no mistake, it’s a party like no other, so prepare yourself! © Pierre Lamy/Qobuz

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The American Project

Yuja Wang

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1
You Come Here Often?
Yuja Wang
00:04:33

Michael Tilson Thomas, Composer - Yuja Wang, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - David Frost, Producer, Mixer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Silas Brown, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Kincaid, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Piano Concerto (Teddy Abrams)

2
I. Overture. Swing
Yuja Wang
00:02:25

Yuja Wang, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Louisville Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - David Frost, Producer, Mixer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Silas Brown, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Teddy Abrams, Composer, Conductor, MainArtist - Chris Kincaid, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

3
II. Cadenza I
Yuja Wang
00:05:29

Yuja Wang, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Louisville Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - David Frost, Producer, Mixer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Silas Brown, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Teddy Abrams, Composer, Conductor, MainArtist - Chris Kincaid, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

4
III. Exposition
Yuja Wang
00:02:39

Yuja Wang, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Louisville Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - David Frost, Producer, Mixer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Silas Brown, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Teddy Abrams, Composer, Conductor, MainArtist - Chris Kincaid, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

5
IV. Orchestra Break
Louisville Orchestra
00:00:46

Louisville Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - David Frost, Producer, Mixer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Silas Brown, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Teddy Abrams, Composer, Conductor, MainArtist - Chris Kincaid, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

6
V. Exploration
Yuja Wang
00:04:56

Yuja Wang, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Louisville Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - David Frost, Producer, Mixer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Silas Brown, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Teddy Abrams, Composer, Conductor, MainArtist - Chris Kincaid, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

7
VI. Cadenza II
Yuja Wang
00:04:50

Yuja Wang, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Louisville Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - David Frost, Producer, Mixer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Silas Brown, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Teddy Abrams, Composer, Conductor, MainArtist - Chris Kincaid, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

8
VII. Relaxed
Yuja Wang
00:02:29

Yuja Wang, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Louisville Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - David Frost, Producer, Mixer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Silas Brown, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Teddy Abrams, Composer, Conductor, MainArtist - Chris Kincaid, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

9
VIII. Solos
Yuja Wang
00:05:13

Yuja Wang, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Louisville Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - David Frost, Producer, Mixer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Silas Brown, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Teddy Abrams, Composer, Conductor, MainArtist - Chris Kincaid, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

10
IX. Cadenza III
Yuja Wang
00:03:39

Yuja Wang, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Louisville Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - David Frost, Producer, Mixer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Silas Brown, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Teddy Abrams, Composer, Conductor, MainArtist - Chris Kincaid, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

11
X. Return. Swing
Yuja Wang
00:02:11

Yuja Wang, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Louisville Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - David Frost, Producer, Mixer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Silas Brown, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Teddy Abrams, Composer, Conductor, MainArtist - Chris Kincaid, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

12
XI. Cadenza IV & Coda
Yuja Wang
00:02:43

Yuja Wang, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Louisville Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - David Frost, Producer, Mixer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Silas Brown, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Teddy Abrams, Composer, Conductor, MainArtist - Chris Kincaid, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Album review

American composers set an excellent example in many ways, but if we could only choose one—should we be so ungrateful(!)—it would be their insolent, judicious refusal to choose between the high-brow and the popular, the lighthearted and the serious, the profane and the sacred… Moreover, they seem to dismiss this sort of binary categorization. Take African-American pioneers like Scott Joplin, for example, whose ragtimes opened up a vast and previously unexplored world by building a bridge between classical and jazz. Gershwin followed suit, and later on, the great musical theatre symphonists, led by Bernstein. These are all names which Michael Tilson Thomas has held dear since his early childhood. His invigorating prelude in ‘You Come Here Often’ (practically a programme in itself) summons forth the skippy grammar of the saloon parlour, passing through all manner of ‘Gershwinian’ harmonic twists—all in one single, jerky, repetitive but never passive motion, often waning towards minimalism à la John Adams. Two generations later, Teddy Abrams (b. 1987) composed his groundbreaking Piano Concerto. Spread out into 12 movements, the titles of each highlight the improvisational character of the work at large: ‘Solo’, ‘Exploration’, ‘Cadenza’. More than a century of musical tradition swirls through this rich work, which is sometimes big band, sometimes ‘Hollywood Revue’, with some unexpectedly tasty post-romantic detours. Yuja Wang, who is used to exploring beyond the conventional, is very at home with this sort of repertoire and takes great pleasure in slapping her listeners with such invigorating material. It’s a nice slap though! The kind that tells you ‘come on, put down your glass and come dance’. Indeed make no mistake, it’s a party like no other, so prepare yourself! © Pierre Lamy/Qobuz

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