Monday, June 28, 2010

REVIEW: Yuja Wang with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra


Yuja Wang took on Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 in C, Op. 26 like a predatory bird on prey. Her game was speed. Never had I heard the piano concerto, and I mean all three movements, played in such pace.



This is another review I wrote for the Time-Out Hong Kong online version. Chinese pianist Yuja Wang performed with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and Chinese conductor Muhai Tang at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall on 26th of June. To read the review, kindly follow the link below.

Please note that starting this review, my article has been moved from the BIG SMOG BLOG to the EDITOR's PICK of the MUSIC section.

Hope you like it and thank you for visiting my blog.

http://www.timeout.com.hk/music/features/35126/review-yuja-wang-at-cultural-centre.html


Cultural Centre Saturday June 26 (5 out of 6 stars)

Yuja Wang was fast, fierce, fearless and totally fantastic.

In an all-Russian programme led by Chinese conductor Muhai Tang, the concert hall was packed and I suspect that this had a lot to do with the Chinese pianist Yuja Wang.

The first half of the concert was all-Prokofiev with Symphony No. 1 in D, Op. 25 (Classical) opening the evening. Prokofiev composed the Symphony No. 1 in the style of Haydn, thus is considered as a one of the earliest neo-classical compositions. While the orchestra may not have been cohesive enough, the dynamics were beautifully delivered ensuring that it imparted the cheerful disposition of the piece and that it didn’t tip over to sounding like a pastiche.

The most awaited Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C, Op. 26 followed. The Piano Concerto No. 3 is Prokofiev’s most popular and critically acclaimed piano concerto and for very good reasons. It exudes snappy energy wherein gorgeous lyrical passages are punctuated with clever dissonances. And this, Yuja Wang took on like a predatory bird on prey.

The name of the game was speed. Never had I heard the piano concerto, and I mean all three movements, played in such pace. Amazingly, instead of sounding rushed, it resonated vigor and drama. Yuja, while fearless was never reckless, her playing was a combination of technical excellence and interpretive gift. The audience adored her and was relentless in their applause. Yuja gave two encores.

What came after the interval was Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Op. 35, a symphonic suite based on 1001 Nights. Here, maestro Tang held the orchestra together tightly and it sounded the most unified of the whole evening. While all solo parts were dispatched beautifully, I can’t help but yearn for a more red-blooded and extreme account of the piece.

Satoshi Kyo

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1 Comments:

At June 29, 2010 at 4:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

well done on being selected as editors pick. says alot about the quality of your writing. mark Williams

 

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