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Pianist Angel Stanislav Wang - CD Review, 25 March 2024

Angel Stanislav Wang won the 2022 International Piano Competition in the city of Jaén, Spain, the sixty-third edition, and was offered the chance to release a disc of solo piano works that he also performed in the competition.

This was the result of his debut album, recorded in spring 2022 at the Infanta Leonor Theatre in Jaén and released on the first of December, 2023 on the Naxos label. The album includes works by Franz Liszt, Enrique Granados, Dmitri Shostakovich and a work by the contemporary Spanish composer Laura Vega, pieces that give the young pianist Angel Stanislav Wang the opportunity to showcase his virtuosity, rhythmic incisiveness, wide range of nuances and passionate interpretation.

The biggest work on this album is the Sonata in B minor composed in 1853 by Franz Liszt and dedicated to Robert Schumann, a piece conceived in a broad sonata form, such a unique and inventive structure that Richard Wagner described it as "sublime beyond comprehension". Liszt treats the sound material in a continuous thematic transformation, a musical technique that was to influence the style of a number of late 19th-century composers, most prominently Richard Wagner. At a first glance, the Sonata in B minor appears to be a free-form fantasy in improvisatory style, but in reality, the whole work is built from the musical ideas in the introduction of the piece, developing with multiple expressive meanings. Pianist Angel Wang convincingly displays them with extraordinary technique, emotional depth and dynamism in the interpretive discourse.

Angel Stanislav Wang was born in 2003 in Los Angeles in a family of musicians. He began playing the piano at the age of 5 under the guidance of his mother, and by the age of 9 he had already made his debut as a concert soloist. He has collaborated with major ensembles such as the Czech National Orchestra, the Malaga Philharmonic and the Madrid Virtuosi Symphony Orchestra, and has won prizes in international competitions in the United States, Switzerland, Spain, Austria and Mexico, performing a broad repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary works.

Larisa Clempuș