The work of Isang Yun, a composer who provides fundamental keys to our understanding of the 20th century, dialogues with that of Beethoven, as performed by Korean pianist Kaya Han, on this latest CD in the Fundación BBVA-NEOS Collection.
Born in South Korea in 1917, son of the poet Yun Hi Hyon, jailed for his part in the resistance to the Japanese invasion, trained in the twelve-tone technique in Europe in the mid 1950s, and resident in Berlin since 1964, save for a two-year interruption when he was kidnapped and imprisoned in Seoul for his communist ideas, Isang Yun was eventually to die in the German capital in 1995. His biography presages some of the motifs in the considerable output of an artist who began writing music at the age of 14. And this troubled life also finds a perfect echo in the ‘Grande Sonate pathétique‘.
The transparent organization of Yun’s notes stands midway between the French impressionists, thanks to his apprenticeship in Paris with Pierre Revel, and the practice of atonality acquired in Berlin with Schönberg’s disciple Josef Rufer. Perhaps Yun’s most personal quality is the way he opens these windows so the listener can pass smoothly between the two ambiences, using as nexus his musical roots embedded in the Taoist tradition. Hence we move from the grandeur of the works opening and closing this selection to the minimalist transparency of the five pieces for piano that precede Ludwig van Beethoven’s monumental creation.
1. Shao Yang Yin (07:56)
Five Pieces for Piano (06:58)
 01:23 I. Adagio grazioso – Andante
 01:38 II. Andantino espressivo – Allegretto – Andantino
 01:04 III. Allegro moderato
 01:33 IV. Allegro
01:20 V. Allegretto
10. Interludium A (04:53)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Grande Sonate pathétique (20:01)
Sonata No. 8 in C minor op. 13 (1798/99)
 09:18 I. Grave – Allegro di molto e con brio 09:18
 05:50 II. Adagio cantabile 05:50
 04:53 III. Rondo. Allegro 04:53
Total time: 48:42