One could reasonably quarrel with some of Yenne Lee’s repertoire choices, which occasionally veer to schmaltzy commercial pop tunes, but she can definitely play (as videos of her performing more standard classical repertoire show), and she imbues even the tunes I don’t like with great feeling and nuance. So it’s a treat when I come across a video of her performing a piece I do like a lot, such as this melodious nugget, written by Celil Refik Kaya (whom I admire as both a composer and a guitarist), and dedicated to Lee; the two were masters students together at the Mannes College of Music in New York earlier in this decade. Lee points out that “‘Yen’ is the name I use in daily life,” hence the title. Lovely!  —Blair Jackson


Advertisement