Vienna - Street Live - SoRyang in Concert

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Vienna - Street Live - SoRyang in Concert Review

by Mike D. Brownell

At a time when careers in classical music are difficult if not impossible to pull off, artists are forced to come up with creative solutions to keep both the music and themselves alive. Perhaps no such solution is more intriguing than that of Korean-born pianist SoRyang. Despite having a distinguished education and having won several smaller piano competitions, SoRyang was not able to make a living concertizing in Vienna. So rather than trying to bring more people to the concert halls, she brought the concert hall to the people. Schlepping an upright piano around in the back of her van, SoRyang has given more than 500 concerts in the streets of Vienna. For this album, the Bosendorfer piano company donated a magnificent concert grand piano it set up for SoRyang on a street corner. In spite of the venue, the sound quality of this recording is remarkably good. Sure, the tone of the piano isn't as even as it would be in a studio or concert hall, and yes, there's tons of background noise. But this noise is actually one of the most intriguing aspects of the album. People going about their business while stopping for a moment to take in some of the greatest works written for the piano, performed by a capable, energetic, focused artist. While on one hand it's a bit sad that a musician of this caliber has had to resort to performing on the street, her tenacity is utterly inspiring; her resolve has doubtlessly exposed these works of art to far more people than she ever could have in a concert hall.

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