Pianist Young-Ah Tak


Concert Review

Piano Recital
August 13, 2007 at Kumho Art Hall, Seoul, Korea

Piano Music Magazine
By Lee Hyun-Hee, music critic
September 2007

Pianist Young-Ah Tak gave a solo recital at Kumho Art Hall on August 13.  With her youthful and fresh energy, Young-Ah Tak is an internationally known pianist.  Her performances have been described by the San Antonio Express-News as “a thrilling blend of fury and finesse.”  She is currently a doctorate candidate at the Peabody Conservatory working with the world-renowned pianist Leon Fleisher.

Tak performed M. Clementi’s Sonata in B-flat Major, Op. 24 No. 2, Debussy’s Image, Book I, American composer Judith Zaimont’s “Wizards,” and Robert Schumann’s Carnival, Op. 9 at the recital.

Tak’s recital was so beautiful and pure that it would be no exaggeration to say that it showed almost everything the music of a variety of different genres can show.  Together with a neat presentation, it indeed gave the audience a special inspiration.

Clementi’s piece was performed in a way that showed what an amazing ability pianist Young-Ah Tak has.  She has extremely unique energy and individuality, and showed a perfect control of her strength in a clean and solid way.  The blend of dramatic tension, brilliant tones, and at times transparent and pure beauty was truly excellent.

Her strong touch, that also had nice texture and a sensitive development with a French elegance, was especially impressive when playing Claude Debussy’s “Images.” The balance of sound and harmony were outstanding, as if the notes of the “Images” were alive and breathing.  With her tender and artistic sense fully conveyed, this piece definitely stood out.

Zaimont’s “Wizards” allowed the audience to truly feel and experience a display of the beauty that was the result of fantasy, romance and dazzle.  The combination of an elegant and brilliant melody, the sense of rich rhythm, and the flexibility of a sophisticated tone was very impressive.  The special poetic mood that was based on the flawless tone also had a sense of elegance.

The perfect construction and understanding of the various characters created an ideal blend for Schumann’s “Carnival”, where an exciting vitality and an energetic movement had a strong command, leading the entire piece.  The combination of vivid expressions, natural musical flow, and overall well-polished sophistication brought the abundant emotions of Schumann to life.

Tak is a pianist with command of exquisite and diverse textures of tones, and who knows how to express her deep internal world through the music. I look forward to many more concerts by her in the future.