Yoonie Han – Hollywood Romance (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:08:21 minutes | 1,27 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Universal Music Ltd.

Given Reynaldo Hahn’s high profile with the patrons of Paris’s pre-war artist salons, it’s not surprising that his original works for piano include a good number of short character pieces that exude charm.

Listeners coming to this exquisite body of work may initially find Hahn’s attractive if modestly deployed keyboard writing recalling or foreshadowing other composers: The sensuous, arching phrases of early Scriabin preludes, or the sparse lyricism of late Liszt. Fauré’s subtle harmonic palette may cast a benign shadow, or the effortless melodic fluidity of Massenet; or Satie at his least brash and ironic, or the delicate balance of Mompou’s piano miniatures.

Yet Hahn goes his own way. Listen to how the disarmingly simple ascending two-note motif of Éros caché dans les bois (No. 9) weaves in and out of a chromatically-oriented linear texture that sounds denser than it is. Antiochus (No. 12) focuses on an obsessive chordal pattern that assiduously builds to a fulfilling climax. By contrast, unpredictable melodic twists and turns in the 30-second plus Portrait (No. 14) keep listeners guessing in every measure. Also notice the shimmering delicacy of the unison lines in Le Jardin de Pétrarque (No. 38), while Noces du Duc de Joyeuse (No. 41) is a masterclass in how to sustain ceremonial momentum. In short, Le Rossignol éperdu is the early 20th Century’s answer to Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words.


01. Yoonie Han – Rachmaninov: Andante cantabile (Arr. Yoonie Han)
02. Yoonie Han – Saint-Saëns: Le cygne (Arr. Godowski for Piano Solo)
03. Yoonie Han – Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue (Arr. for Piano)
04. Yoonie Han – Debussy: 3. Clair de lune
05. Yoonie Han – Liszt: Widmung, S. 566 (after R. Schumann)
06. Yoonie Han – Liszt: Schwanengesang, S. 560 (after F. Schubert)
07. Yoonie Han – Offenbach: Barcarolle (Arr. M. Moszkowski)
08. Yoonie Han – Bach: 2. Siciliano (Arr. Friedman for Piano)
09. Yoonie Han – Wild: 7. The Man I Love
10. Yoonie Han – Satie: 1. Lent
11. Yoonie Han – Thalberg: 19. Casta diva, de l’opéra “Norma” (after V. Bellini)
12. Yoonie Han – Puccini: O mio babbino caro (Arr. Mikhashoff)
13. Yoonie Han – Schumann: 7. Träumerei