MY 2020
Beethoven Sonatas Op. 109 & 111 // Bach Transcriptions

hänssler CLASSIC HC 20079

"It has to be admitted that I totally fell in love with the variations to be found in Opus 111. I desperately wanted to be part of that particular world encompassed by the fragile and sublime colours which are to be found between the “pp” and “ppp” (“very quiet” and “extremely quiet”) parts of the work, which permeate the whole special atmosphere.
It seems as if one is being driven towards infinity - somehow it might even take one to a sublime place without conflicts, pain and evil. All of these developments happened in an absolutely “micro” way, such as only Beethoven could have created.  In its way it is modern-language music and thus will stay avant-garde forever. Indeed, it is a never-ending composition; the end may be a new beginning. Every Sunday morning - these two Bach Transcriptions are part of my confession. They are part of a better realisation of my true self, and the recognition and change of myself for the past few year. They form part of a sincere internal dialogue with myself without any pressure and expectations.
I am not a religious person. If there has to be an inspiration and/or religion then for me there is no doubt as to where my choice will fall - music." - Excerpt from the CD Booklet written by Haiou Zhang

"In Beethovens letzter Klaviersonate ist vor allem die Klarheit des Spiels auffallend, das diesen Beethoven sehr kontrastreich und intensiv dramatisch werden lässt. Spannungsvoll und dunkel grollend ist das Maestoso, getrieben das Allegro con brio. Auch die Gefühlswallungen des langsamen Satzes werden gut zum Ausdruck gebracht. Die Komplexität und Orientierungslosigkeit der Arietta mit ihren immer wieder erstaunlichen Variationen wird gekonnt und vor allem sehr spannungsvoll herausgestellt."

"Pour la Sonate pour piano n° 32, Haiou Zhang combine toujours virtuosité et poésie, un jeu tour à tour viril et délicat. Mettant en valeur la diversité des couleurs et des articulations, il parvient à rendre chaque note nettement perceptible, même dans les climax tapissés de textures denses et complexes. (..)Concernant l’interprétation des deux compositions de Bach, respectivement transcrites par Feinberg et Lipatti, nous voici face à une expression d’une simplicité pure et d’une finesse extrême, aussi soignée que naturelle. Haiou Zhang subjugue par sa musicalité comme par l’élégance et des sonorités perlées.(..)Cette nouveauté de hänssler CLASSIC prouve que Haiou Zhang est un artiste dont on devrait parler plus dans les prochaines années."
- ResMusica

"If the opening was like Moses uneasily parting the Red Sea, then the rest of the sonata is like that sea closing behind him, and composer and artist together moving forward as one, not looking back. From Variation 3 (Sonata Opus 111) to the end, something beyond clinical propriety has taken control. The stratospheric triplets, like shattering glass, the trills that seem as though they will run on forever, lead us not to music but into another dimension, the realm of the uneasy perfection that is Beethoven. In the next to last page of the score, there are three worlds unfolding—the descant heights, a simple theme, the treble line dropped into the left hand—and Zhang blends them all in a standout conclusion."
- FANFARE Magazine

Mozart Piano Concertos No. 12 & 13
hänssler CLASSIC HC18101

1+5: Haiou Zhang has long dreamt of recording the two wonderful piano concertos by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - K. 414 in A major and K. 415 in C major.
Together with first-class string quartets of his generation (such as the vision string quartet and the Meccore String Quartet) Haiou Zhang brought the composer’s recommended version “a quattro” to the stage; this means that is a piano concerto with only string quartet accompaniment (1 + 4). In order to enrich the dynamic variety of the sound, he added a double bass; this addition increases the possibility of interpreting the score in new ways and enables the music to be enhanced by many new facets, thereby raising the music to a new level (1 + 5).

"I find Zhang graceful and sensitive in the introspective slow movements, so emotionally affecting, and suitably brisk and vivacious in the Finales." — MusicWeb International, April 2019

Haiou Zhang ist ein Mozart-Interpret par excellence. Mal gebundene, mal im Staccato gespielte Läufe, flächig aufgeweichte Begleitmuster, fein geschichtete Akkordpakete, herrlich gut getimte rhetorische Rubati prägen sein spiel.''
- PianoNews, September 2019

hänssler CLASSIC HC17022

Fingerprints finally became the title of my new CD album, which gives the upcoming disc quite a personal touch. Every composition is very different in style but each has the same mental flow: they are all undoubtedly my favourites. I do not see my job as just being to record a CD and then release it onto the market. Every single piece on the CD has been played as a live experience in at least 50 concerts before I get the feeling that it is ready to be recorded. This process was indispensable in order to give me the most freedom which is needed for the entire performance; it inspires me to bring sound pictures to life.

Fingerprints has been selected as ALBUM PICK by the LUFTHANSA MAGAZINE for Edition October 2017. Further information at Arkivmusic

"He can also play the most difficult of all: Mozart. After a recording with the piano concertos K.466 and 467, the new CD by the Chinese pianist Haiou Zhang on the hänssler CLASSIC label, includes, as well as Bach, an exciting Beethoven Sonata ("Waldstein") and Ravels' "La Valse". It also contains the F major Sonata K.332 by Mozart.. It is admirably differentiated both by its decidedly dynamic form, its richness in variety of tempo and also the natural flow, without which - in playing Mozart - mannerism can quickly arise."
- Süddeutsche Zeitung, Klaus Kalchschmid

''Haiou Zhang deckt durch seindifferenziertes Klavierspiel alle diese Aspekte ab. Ihm liegt es fern, bereits am Anfang der Waldstein-Sonate durch allzu entfesseltes, rasches Spiel zu punkten und später ff-Ausbrüche zu brutalisieren: Bei ihm herrscht klassische Ausgewogenheit zwischen Form und Inhalt vor, ohne dass dadurch sein Spiel auch nur für einen Taktan Spontaneität verlöre.''
TAGEBLATT, Jürgen Gahre

hänssler CLASSIC HC16037

''He shoulders the two piano concertos here, Nos. 20 and 21, two of the most well-known works, and courageous in view of the fierce competition.. Yet the pianist does not shrink from comparison; he moves quite like a sleepwalker safely through the two so different music scores - the spiritual drama in the D-flat concerto and the melodic fireworks of the C-major concerto. In direct dialogue with the Heidelberg Symphony orchestra, playing without frills under the baton of Thomas Fey, the pianist presents his refreshing view of this music, choosing sometimes fast - almost turbulent tempi - yet remaining exemplarily clear and decisive with every beat. An inspiring Mozart.''
- Isabel Fedrizzi, Piano News Magazine

''Dennoch lohnt sich hier der Vergeich mit der jungen Generation, zum Beispiel mit dem Mozart-Spiel des chinesischen Pianisten Haiou Zhang, der das ungefährt Gegenteil praktiziert in seiner technisch verspielten Unbekümmertheit.''
- Süddeutsche Zeitung, Helmut Mauró

hänssler CLASSIC HC98625

"With this recording Haiou Zhang, celebrates Liszt year in masterly and inclusive style. The B minor Sonata is at the heart of his programme and here, in music once considered technically unplayable and musically incomprehensible, he recreates a visionary masterpiece and a landmark in the history of music with exceptional grandeur and lucidity (...) Haiou Zhang is a most serious artist."
- Bryce Morrison, Gramophone
Full Article here->>

Haiou Zhang plays Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5

In 2010 Haiou Zhang toured through Canada with the Slovak Sinfonietta under the baton of Maestro Kerry Stratton and all concerts received enormous acclaims from press as well the audience. This recording is now in memoriam of the conductor who passed away in 2019. Excactly on August 27, 2019 from complications from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Original Release Date: 26 Oct. 2010
Release Date: 26 Oct. 2010
Label: Artists Choice Recordings
Copyright: 2010 Artists Choice Recordings
Total Length: 38:44
Recorded May 2010 by Dennis Patterson at Glenn Gould Studio CBC, Toronto