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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Jenny Lin - Get Happy


  1. Irving Berlin - Blue Skies (from 'Betsy') (arr. Dick Hyman)
  2. George Gershwin - Virtuoso Etude after Gershwin No. 1: I Got Rhythm (from 'Girl Crazy') (arr. Earl Wild)
  3. Lerner & Loewe - Eliza at Ascot (from 'My Fair Lady') (arr. Stefan Malzew)
  4. Rodgers & Hart - Lover (from 'Love Me Tonight') (arr. Alexis Weissenberg)
  5. Cole Porter - Begin the Beguine (from 'Jubilee') (arr. Cy Walter)
  6. Stephen Sondheim - Johanna (from 'Sweeney Todd') (arr. Christopher O'Riley)
  7. Rodgers & Hammerstein - Carousel Waltz (from 'Carousel') (arr. Stephen Hough)
  8. Rodgers & Hammerstein - March of the Siamese Children (from 'The King and I') (arr. Stephen Hough)
  9. Rodgers & Hart - Blue Moon (from 'Manhattan Melodrama') (arr. André Previn)
  10. Irving Berlin - Cheek to Cheek (from 'Top Hat') (arr. Dick Hyman)
  11. George Gershwin - Virtuoso Etude after Gershwin No. 4: Embraceable You (from 'Girl Crazy') (arr. Earl Wild)
  12. David Raskin - Meditation on Laura (from the film 'Laura') (arr. Marc-André Hamelin)
  13. George Gershwin - Bess, You Is My Woman Now (from 'Porgy and Bess') (arr. David Saperton)
  14. George Gershwin - Virtuoso Etude after Gershwin No. 6: Fascinatin' Rhythm (from 'Lady, Be Good!') (arr. Earl Wild)
  15. Cole Porter - So in Love (from 'Kiss Me, Kate') (arr. Greg Anderson)
  16. Rodgers & Hammerstein - My Favorite Things (from 'The Sound of Music') (arr. Stephen Hough)
  17. Rodgers & Hammerstein - Hello, Young Lovers (from 'The King and I') (arr. Stephen Hough)
  18. Harold Arlen - Get Happy (from '9:15 Revue') (arr. Stephen Prutsman)

Jenny Lin, piano
Date: 2012
Label: Steinway & Sons



Lin’s ‘classical’ take on the Great American Songbook

I first came across the Taiwanese-American pianist Jenny Lin in 2002 on a terrific Chinese-themed disc for BIS. Lin doesn’t do same-old-same-old (on disc at least) and it’s refreshing to hear a classical pianist embracing showbiz in the form of the Great American Songbook. She herself has commissioned a number of the 18 arrangements here.

There is little more toe-curling than the classical pianist who fancies him/herself as a jazzer but simply can’t swing. Lin has got the technique, taste and temperament in spades, while cleverly – since most of her choices are arrangements by classical pianists – retaining a classical poise. Not all are equally successful: Weissenberg’s take on Rodgers & Hart’s ‘Lover’ is overburdened (like Max Reger’s ridiculous note-heavy take on the ‘Blue Danube’), completely obliterating the song’s character, and in the title-track – sorry, I’d go for Art Tatum every time.

She gets close to matching Earl Wild’s wittily camp insouciance in ‘I got rhythm’ – and that’s saying something (Lin can certainly get around the keyboard). She can also be highly affecting (André Previn’s ‘Blue Moon’ and Marc-André Hamelin’s spare, mesmeric ‘Laura’). Steinway has provided a superbly voiced instrument and the sound recording is demonstration-class. Even the sniffiest of pianophiles will find all this hard to resist.

-- Gramophone

More reviews:


Jenny Lin (born 1973) is a Taiwanese-born American pianist. She studied music at Vienna's Hochschule für Musik with Noel Flores and later on at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore with Julian Martin. She also studied with Richard Goode, Dmitri Bashkirov, and Andreas Staier. Lin is one of those adventurous pianists unafraid to tackle contemporary repertory or to explore the works of lesser-known composers of generations past. She has been serving on the faculty at the 92nd Street Y, and has made recordings for Hänssler Classics, BIS, and Koch International.


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