Yuja Wang Encores The Berlin RecitalYuja Wang – The Berlin Recital. Encores

Kapustin, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev

Deutsche Grammophon, 2018

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With this essential (for its brevity) but delightful EP, Yuja Wang’s flamboyant and technically finished style of playing is fully summarized. Featuring her four encores from the recital at the Philharmonie in Berlin, this album gives to the last part of a concert an unusual but well-deserved prominence.

Despite her young age, Wang is considered one of the finest pianists of the present day for her sensitive and refined performances, which bring brilliance and charm to the music she plays. This is exactly what is so appealing about the four encores from the Berlin concert. Wang performs them with dazzling technical assurance and with colourful and vibrant nuances, so that the music acquires sumptuousness and flamboyance, but without neglecting subtlety and delicacy.

In detail, the first encore is the Toccatina from Kapustin’s Eight Concert Studies for Piano. This piece, which lasts little more than two minutes, is nonetheless admirable for Wang’s intense gradation of the colours, which ranges from the darkest to the lightest with irrepressible transport. The liquidity of the piano is also amazing.

Wang performs the next encore, Schumann’s The Smuggler, as a vibrant, restless piece of music. She is praiseworthy for her emotional commitment as well as for her well-balanced energy. Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Four Swans is equally remarkable for her virtuoso playing as well as for the delicate touch of Wang’s fingers, which symbolically reminds of the grace of the ballet dancers. Finally, Prokofiev’s Precipitato from the Piano Sonata No. 7 conjures up interesting shadows as Wang brings out the undertones of this music with remarkable clarity.

For once, conciseness is not a synonym of superficiality or irrelevance. Wang’s Encores gives the best possible idea of what her concert at the Philharmonie Berlin was and proves in a concrete and vivacious way the value of this fabulous artist.

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