ISANG YUN (1917-1995): The Art of, Vol. 5 - Concerto for Flute and Small Orchestra (Roswitha Staege [flute], Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra; Hans Zender. May 1985), Cello Concerto (Siegfried Palm [cello], Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Zender. Sept. 7, 1978), Clarinet Concerto (Eduard Brunner [clarinet], Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Patrick Thomas. Jan. 29, 1982).
Catalogue Number: 07M112
Description: As is often the case in his compositions, Yun turned to extramusical sources for the inspiration for his flute concerto. Here an early Korean Buddhist poem about a young woman dancing in a dream toward a statue of the Buddha, only realising that it is a statue when she embraces the cold stone, provides a narrative background to the piece. The solo flute symbolizes the monastery pupil in a trance-like state, and in her increasingly ecstatic dance. Unusually for Yun up to this time at least, pulsating regular rhythm is employed to provide a basis for the dance. A meditative slow section gives way to a more agitated final movement. The cello concerto was the first of the series of concertante works that occupied the composer from the mid-1970s onward. Like the first violin concerto, the image of individual versus society is implicit in the work's dialogue, though this more autobiographical work contains more demonstrative, protesting music. This remains one of Yun's most powerful scores, with its images of violence and catastrophe, defiance and the refusal of the individual to be silenced. The composer's very free treatment of his note-row based thematic material is here provided an added dimension of expression through the persistent use of quarter-tone inflections to the instrumental lines, especially that of the soloist. The clarinet concerto is a relatively conventional tripartite structure, with a dynamic expository first movement, a lyrically flexible slow movement and a lively finale incorporating a virtuoso cadenza.