Han-Na Chang, whose recordings for EMI have been bestsellers worldwide and have won numerous awards, including two Grammy nominations, has recorded a programme of romantic pieces for cello and orchestra in partnership with Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Lalo’s Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Andante Cantabile were recorded in concert at Rome’s Sala Santa Cecilia, Auditorium Parco della Musica. Dvořák’s Rondo Op. 94, Glazunov’s Melody Op. 20, Saint-Saëns’ Allegro appassionato Op. 43, and Casals’ El Cant dels Ocells (Song of the Birds), were recorded in sessions in the same hall.
Interviewed at the time of the recording, Han-Na Chang described the new album as epitomizing “19th century romanticism, where everything is about colour and about being mellow, …. There is something irresistible in this romantic spirit. … We wanted to keep to music originally written for cello and orchestra so all the works are originals … we have made an eclectic selection, a mixture of rarely performed jewels.”
Han-Na Chang has established an extraordinary international career, performing on the world’s most prestigious concert stages and is consistently singled out for the depth, musicality and technical assurance of her playing. Her exceptional musical gifts were recognized when, at the age of eleven, she took the First Prize and the Contemporary Music Prize at the 1994 Rostropovich International Cello Competition. A year later, she made her first EMI Classics recording, which included Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations and the Saint-Saëns Concerto No. 1, with Rostropovich conducting. When she was 15, Han-Na made her Carnegie Hall debut and her second album, Haydn Cello Concertos. Since then, she has collaborated with the world’s leading international orchestras and conductors, including the late Giuseppe Sinopoli, Lorin Maazel, Mariss Jansons, Riccardo Muti, Antonio Pappano and Christoph Eschenbach. An enthusiastic recitalist, Han-Na performs in such far-flung cities as Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Hamburg, Florence, Milan, Brussels, Lisbon, Madrid, Monte Carlo, Montreal and Tokyo. She has studied privately with both Mischa Maisky and Mstislav Rostropovich and has continued her academic studies in philosophy at Harvard University.
Han-Na Chang and Antonio Pappano, both exclusive EMI artists, have collaborated previously on stage and in recordings, including Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante and Sonata for Cello and Piano and Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto and Cello Sonata. The orchestra in each case was the London Symphony Orchestra and Antonio Pappano did double duty as both conductor and pianist. Their Prokofiev recording was awarded the Caecilia Prize and was named Concerto Recording of the Year by ECHO Klassik, the Cannes Classical Awards and Gramophone Magazine. Of their Shostakovich recording, released in mid-2006, BBC Music Magazine wrote, “Chang brings clear-sighted belief to everything she touches. Her range is generous indeed, from barely audible ghostly voices to high octane drama. … superlative partnership with Pappano” and Gramophone reported, “…she plays with such conviction that you feel she too could have been the inspiration for great composers. … Chang combines raw emotion with a structural grip that is even more remarkable in one so young.”
Han-Na Chang has performed concerts with Pappano and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, of which he is music director, but this is their first recording. “We love to make music together; it’s almost like chamber music … they’re such an enthusiastic bunch of people.” And of her collaboration with Antonio Pappano, Chang says, “He is so passionate and full of energy, it affects everybody in the room.”
Antonio Pappano is music director of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He has recorded extensively as a conductor of opera and orchestral works and as a pianist with artists including Maxim Vengerov and Ian Bostridge, in addition to Han-Na Chang.
“[Han-Na] has an enviable power to move her audiences…she’s a natural performer whose musicianship is intense, profound and astonishingly mature.” (The Strad)
Tracklisting (not final running order)
Lalo: Cello Concerto
Tchaikovsky: Andante Cantabile
Dvorak: Rondo op 94
Glazounov: Melody op20
Saint-Saens: Allegro Appassionata op43
Casals: El Cant dels Ocells (Song of the birds)(arr for cello and strings by P Casals)