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Fantasia [CD]

Yuja Wang Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Twenty-four year old Chinese pianist Yuja Wang is widely recognized for playing that combines the spontaneity and fearless imagination of youth with the discipline and precision of a mature artist. Regularly lauded for her controlled, prodigious technique, Yuja’s command of the piano has been described as “astounding” and “superhuman,” and she has been praised for ... Read more in Amazon's Yuja Wang Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Fantasia + Transformation: Stravinsky / Scarlatti / Brahms / Ravel + Sonatas & Etudes
Price For All Three: £37.03

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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 April 2012)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B006WXW098
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,708 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Rachmaninov: Etudes-Tableaux, Op.39 - No.6 in A minor 2:31£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Rachmaninov: Etudes-Tableaux, Op.39 - No.4 in B minor 2:30£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Rachmaninov: Elegie in E flat minor, Op.3, No.1 - Elegie in E flat minor, Op.3, No.1 4:44£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Rachmaninov: Etudes-Tableaux, Op.39 - No.5 in E flat minor 4:36£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. D. Scarlatti: Sonata in G major, KK.455 1:44£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice (Orphée et Eurydice) - Arranged Sgambati / Act 2 - Melodie dell'Orfeo 3:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Albéniz: Iberia - for piano solo / Book 2 - 6. Triana 5:25£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Bizet: Variations On A Theme From G. Bizet's "Carmen" (The Gypsy Song Act II) White House Version 3:39£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Schubert: Gretchen am Spinnrade, D.118 - arranged by Franz Liszt - Gretchen am Spinnrad, D 118 - arranged by Franz Liszt 3:35£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. J. Strauss II: Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka, Op.214 - arranged by György Cziffra - Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka, Op.214 - arranged by György Cziffra 3:20£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Chopin: Waltz No.7 in C sharp minor, Op.64 No.2 - Tempo giusto 3:49£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Dukas: L'apprenti sorcier - Arranged By Victor Staub 9:49£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Scriabin: 24 Preludes for piano, Op.11 - No. 11 in B 1:31£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Scriabin: 6 Preludes, Op. 13 - No. 6 in B minor 1:18£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Scriabin: 24 Preludes for piano, Op.11 - No. 12 in G sharp minor 1:30£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Scriabin: 12 Etudes for piano, Op.8 - No. 9 in C sharp minor 4:30£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Scriabin: 2 Poèmes, Op.32 - 1. Poème in F sharp 3:22£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Saint-Saëns: Danse macabre, Op.40 - arranged by Franz Liszt & Vladimir Horowitz - Danse macabre, Op.40 - arranged by Franz Liszt & Vladimir Horowitz 7:51£0.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

DGG 4790052; DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON - Germania; Classica da camera Piano

Customer Reviews

3 star
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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This well recorded disc from 2011 joins the growing discography of this outstanding young pianist.

Yuja Wang, on this disc, plays a wide range of her favourite encores. Suffice it to say that these performances are spectacular or sensitive as appropriate and that none of the spontaneity of her many live performances has been lost in these studio versions. This set of encores differs in intent from many others such collections of encores. To understand why, the following quote from Yuja Wang herself may help to explain:

An encore, as described by Yuja,is 'something that is both ephemeral and truthful. It's a temporary mood, reciprocated by the audience. They're pieces I've played for so long that they've become a part of me. It's a king of record of how my heart is feeling at the moment...... People assume that an encore is something showy, but, for me, it's a little moment of tenderness from the heart.'

The primary intention of this disc is therefore, the sharing of the joy of the moment of creation rather than any intentional delight of showmanship. Nevertheless it is also true to say that showmanship is inevitable as a consequence of many of the pieces played in the program. Many the pieces could be described in this way and particular favourites will be chosen according to individual listeners' personal preferences.

To give some sort of idea of the variety and range of the pieces and playing presented here, the Tritsch-Tratsch Polka is an especial joy as it was so much better recorded than the U-Tube alternative. The Carmen and Danse Macabre have all the sparkle and devilry associated with the arranger, Horowitz.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the new vanguard 4 April 2012
By schumann_bg TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Yuja Wang has chosen a captivating programme on this disc and it makes for a very satisfying sequence. If there is a dominant note it is the Russian theme suggested by a number of Rachmaninov and Scriabin pieces in two blocks. They are brilliantly played; right from the opening chromatic runs you know you are in for something special, as she is able to nuance the dynamics in an amazing way for such a note-filled phrase. Virtuosity abounds in this recital - personally I love the arrangement of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and also Horowitz's scintillating take on Carmen, which I had previously only heard from Kissin's fingers, but Wang is able to dispatch it with just as much digital brilliance. Plus another Horowitz arrangement just in case we thought her playing was a fluke ... There's also a very yearning arrangement of Gluck's beguiling Melodie showing a superb control of tone - everything sounds so beautifully integrated. The cover photo is very effective in the context of the Fantasia title, and a number of other photos work as variations on a theme - for once this plethora of images seems justified by the imaginative concept. Her thick black wings suggest to me two enormous rusks, or a variant on the boa, and seem to vary in size. They hint at the 'demonic' aspect of her technique, as with Paganini, and are somehow playful in the best sense.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Collection of Encores 30 Jun 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Fantasia represents Ms Wang's fouth recording for DG, and features enocore pieces and arrangements by some of her inspirations (Horowitz, Cziffra).

To my ear, the Scriabin pieces are the standouts on this well engineered album.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CD 26 Jun 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I got this cd as it was recommended to me. great pianist, great music. i would recommend them to all who are interested classical music and want something slightly challenging but very listenable.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A non pareil recital, even though it is all encores 13 April 2012
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on
Format:Audio CD
This is a surprisingly successful album, since hearing eighteen encores filling up 68 in. of miniatures isn't necessarily enticing. For a virtuoso with Yuja Wang's exceptional technique, even among her kind, an encore is almost always a dazzler, a finger-crunching display first and music second. For those reasons, I've only owned two encore records over the years, one from Horowitz (bought in college so that I could hear his rendition of Stars and Stripes Forever), the other from Arkadi Volodos, so that I could hear how closely he resembled Horowitz. May I suggest that Wang outdoes both? She plays without vulgar showmanship, and when she steps into Horowitz's home territory - playing his famous arrangement of themes from Bizet's Carmen (also included on Volodos's debut CD) - there's no aggression of the kind that gets audiences to leap to their feet. She almost never uses her fingers like hammers.

Wang realizes that we aren't hearing true encores, because we aren't at a concert fired up by the main event. We're coming to this CD cold. Therefore, she adapts these pieces into real music, experiences of her artistry more than her prowess. You can sit through the cascade of notes in Liszt's arrangement of Schubert's Gretchen am Spinnrade because the fireworks are secondary to Wang's sensitive rendering of the song itself. Some of these showpieces are closer to what Sir Thomas Beecham called "derangements" than arrangements, as for example the two longest works, Dukas' Sorcerer's Apprentice and Saint-Saens' Danse macabre, and memories of Horowitz and Cziffra, who were incendiary in their approach, aren't erased. But Wang's subtler methods never induce a headache or cloying satiation.

The only quiet work is a Chopin waltz, which serves as a kind of sorbet course to refresh the palate. there are also two groupings of "real" music, in the form of four Etudes by Rachmaninov and five miniatures by Scriabin. Listening to how beautifully Wang engages this wide variety, I began to think that among the current generation of awe-inducing young virtuosos, she could well be the most musical. This implies a chance for lasting greatness as her career unfolds.
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Offering 25 April 2012
By Frank L. Bell - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This CD belongs in the collection of every pianophile. It is wonderful. In fact, it is just short of being great. Decades ago pianists would record albums like this one, comprised of a variety of works with no particular theme except enjoyment. Recent times have seen an emphasis on completeness, i.e., the complete sonatas or the complete etudes, etc. of a given composer. Now we have a disc that is devoted to the pleasure of music and the fun of a powerful virtuoso.
The program is extremely attractive, offering familiar works with tasty rarities. For the most part, Ms. Wang is quite successful in her performances, but she is outdone by a couple of the works as noted below.
Perhaps the most enticing item on her program is the Victor Staub transcription of Dukas' Sorcerer's Apprentice. Ms. Wang has made some alterations to the score to fit her hands. Her performance is spectacular, easily outshining most orchestral performances. She plays this with marvelous virtuosity and musicianship. Now someone needs to record the Sandor transcription.
Her performance of Chopin's Waltz, Op. 64, No.2 is one of the absolute finest I have ever heard, reminiscent of the glorious recording made by Rosenthal. The Rachmaninoff pieces are impressive, especially the Elegy, Op.3, No.1. The Scriabin works are also given fine performances.
Ms. Wang provides a passionate reading of the Schubert/Liszt Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel, and she does a great job with Cziffra's flashy transcription of the Tritsch-Tratsch Polka. Speaking of trash, she also does a fine job with the trashy arrangements by Horowitz, who vulgarized the Bizet and Saint-Saens transcriptions done far better by Moszkowski and Liszt.
Curiously, Ms. Wang is totally lost with the Gluck/Sgambati Melodie. Her pushing and pulling of the rhythm destroys the flowing tranquility of the musical line. I assume that she has listened to the recordings of this piece by Rachmaninoff and by Earl Wild, since she plays the same trills that they do, which are not written in the score. But she has nothing of their flowing beauty in her performance.
Finally, there is Albeniz' "Triana." This work is incredibly difficult. It is absolutely one of the most difficult works ever written for the piano, even more difficult than practically all of Godowsky's arrangements of the Chopin Etudes. In fact, when Godowsky wrote his transcription of "Triana," he made many simplifications, resulting in his arrangement's being easier than the original. Almost no one can really play this piece, including Ms. Wang. She, like almost everyone else, stretches and twists the tempo in order to negotiate the notes. (BTW, Julius Katchen plays "Triana" marvelously. Get that CD.)
Still, this is a wonderful CD. The sound is quite good; typical DG quality. If you truly love virtuoso piano music, you will be happy.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Encore! Encore! Here they are... 2 May 2012
By Janos Gereben - Published on
Format:Audio CD
We are at the cusp of transition from one generation of pianists to another, but a name stands out as exception to clear distinction between grand old musicians and brilliant young talent. Yuja Wang doesn't fit into those (arbitrary) boxes.

At only 25, Yuja (her own preference for second reference) is an old soul, and seemingly in the vanguard for a long, long time. In fact, it's been a dozen years - half her life - that she's been winning international contests and hearts around the world, plus engagements with major orchestras, so she is neither a newcomer nor a member of the <em>ancien régime</em>. She is what she is, one of the finest pianists - and, importantly, musicians - of our time.

And she has now produced her fourth Deutsche Grammophon CD, "Fantasia," which follows [...]"Sonatas & Etudes"</a> (2009), [...]"Transformation</em>" (2010), and [...]"Rachmaninov"</a> (2011).

It is a varied, capricious, collection of miniatures, just a few minutes each, the longest being a 10-minute tribute to Mickey Mouse - quite a change since the large-scale collection of "Transformation."

Almost all tracks come from Yuja's large storehouse of encores; she needs many because her recital audiences unvariably demand - and almost always - receive them.

Four brief Rachmaninov [not Rachmaninoff, according to this album] pieces lead the way, played with unshowy brilliance, power, and her usual complete authority over the keyboard. The stormy Étude-tableau in A minor Op. 39 No. 6 is a grand calling card; Op. 39 No. 4 is swift, playful; Op. 39 No. 5 has a quiet, but persistent romantic sweep.

Élégie in E flat minor Op. 3 No. 1, wisely slipped in between No. 4 and No. 5, is meandering, Chopinesque, a change from the mood shared by the Étude-tableaux.

Scarlatti, a Yuja perennial, appears here only with the two-minute-long Sonata in G major K. 455, an irresitible melodic cascade of pearls, over before you can catch your breath.

For contrast, the poignant Melody from Gluck's "Orfeo ed Euridice" follows, giving way to Albéniz's sweeping "Triana," from Iberia, Book II.

One of Yuja's heroes, Vladimir Horowitz, is responsible for two transcriptions: the Gypsy Song, from Bizet's "Carmen," and the CD-closing virtuoso "Dance macabre," by Saint-Saëns (in Liszt's arrangement). The "Carmen" excerpt is marked "White House version" because it became famous in Horowitz's televised White House concert in 1978.

There are many other cuts, including a superb collection of five Scriabin miniatures, but let's get back to Mickey Mouse. Everybody's favorite rodent will inevitably come to mind while listening to Yuja's tempestuous "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," in Victor Staub's arrangement.

The Disney film is now showing in San Francisco's Disney Family Museum, but meanwhile, enjoy Yuja's tribute to it.
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection of Encores, just add thunderous applause. 12 April 2012
By William N. Gross - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Hearing the Scarlatti and Chopin included in this collection shot me back to a solo recital I had the pleasure of attending 2 years ago. It was a dazzling display of virtuosity from this young artist and then came the encores which were an enchanting set all their own. This fulfills my wish to have a recording to take home from that night. These are all pieces Yuja Wang encores with and it is a pretty clever presentation to boot; it picks up with her playing Rachmaninov which is where she left off in her last release and follows with a well matched selection predominantly from the Romantic period. To hear someone this young who has mastered the piano to this extent makes me examine my preconceptions about what it takes to be a seasoned classical musician (come to think of it there are a lot of impressive players these days under 30). She has found the pocket between intellect and feeling and filled it with magnificent technique which is equal parts fury and nuance.
Encores are usually crowd pleasers and as well very personal in their nature. They are the artist's choice for a parting gift. The performer and audience bond even more tightly and it becomes their way of putting off goodbye. Fantasia captures the feeling of celebration and triumph that comes with the territory.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic fantasia 11 April 2012
By doglover - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Technically beyond brilliant. Interpretively sensitive and stunning. Amazingly comprehensive in material chosen for the CD. I thought it would be a fabulous recording before I bought it, little knowing just how fabulous it is! She's the equal of Argerich and Horowitz in her early twenties, hard to imagine how amazing she will be when she fully matures as an artist-she is getting close now..........
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