ISANG YUN (1917-1995): The Art of, Vol. 4 - Double Concerto for Oboe, Harp and Small Orchestra (Heinz Holliger [oboe], Ursula Holliger [harp], Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra; Dennis Russell Davies. May 14, 1985), Violin Concerto No. 1 (Akiko Tatsumi [violin], Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra; Zdenek Macal. Nov. 1982).
Catalogue Number: 07M111
Description: Yun's Double Concerto is based on a Korean fairy tale about a princess and a cowherd who fall in love, are banished to opposite ends of the sky as stars and are only allowed to meet once a year, escorted by magpies. The tale has an allegorical resonance for the composer, symbolising the division of his homeland. The lovers are portrayed by the solo instruments, and the work as a whole qualifies as vividly depicted program music, with events from the story described in rich detail. T he work was written for the Holligers, so not surprisingly, the oboe solo is especially technically challenging and innovative. The slow movement's description of the lovers' meeting brings out some especially lovely melodic writing, and throughout the piece maintains a compelling narrative structure with moments of drama and tender lyricism in the composer's characteristically free harmonic language, sumptuously and colorfully orchestrated. The violin concerto from a few years later tends more in the direction of tonality, and here the soloist is a single voice crying out for freedom in the face of opposition from forces portrayed by the orchestra. A melodic opening, with Eastern modalities suggesting a kind of folk song, is increasingly assailed by sombre orchestral material; this atmosphere reaches its expressive peak in the powerful and effective slow movement. The finale highlights the violin in defiant, self-confident mood, energetic and agile as though rising above repression and doubt.