Top positive review
November 17, 2013
I had the extreme pleasure of attending Yuja Wang's concert at Duke University last month. She capped an unbelievable (if unplanned) double-header; the previous evening we heard Andras Schiff perform Bach's Goldberg Variations at arch rival UNC. Schiff was traditional, thoughtful, probing, generous. Wang was at least as impressive in a completely different way. She is a visual treat as well as an astounding pianist, helped by the wonderful acoustics of the just-remodeled Baldwin Auditorium. I was there--I saw her, heard her, and I still have a hard time believing what I heard. How can such a petite young lady get such a big sound, have such dynamic range, and sound at times like there must be more than two hands at work? I played the Petrushka from this disc to a fellow music lover and she swore there must be technical trickery at work.
Miss Wang left the stage briefly between numbers, returning each time after about a minute. One might think the suspense of the evening would be if she could play all the notes in the knuckle-busters, but for my wife and me the suspense was if she could navigate the walk back and forth to the piano in those 5 inch heels. Like Schiff she was generous with the encores, although instead of a complete Beethoven sonata, we heard, among others, Art Tatum!
I'll leave it to the experts to dissect the performances on this disc. All I know is that it is wonderful and tremendously exciting, helped immensely by our visual images of that evening. I've snapped up every one of her discs and eagerly await more.