9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
the new vanguard,
This review is from: Fantasia (Audio CD)
Yuja Wang has chosen a captivating programme on this disc and it makes for a very satisfying sequence. If there is a dominant note it is the Russian theme suggested by a number of Rachmaninov and Scriabin pieces in two blocks. They are brilliantly played; right from the opening chromatic runs you know you are in for something special, as she is able to nuance the dynamics in an amazing way for such a note-filled phrase. Virtuosity abounds in this recital - personally I love the arrangement of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and also Horowitz's scintillating take on Carmen, which I had previously only heard from Kissin's fingers, but Wang is able to dispatch it with just as much digital brilliance. Plus another Horowitz arrangement just in case we thought her playing was a fluke ... There's also a very yearning arrangement of Gluck's beguiling Melodie showing a superb control of tone - everything sounds so beautifully integrated. The cover photo is very effective in the context of the Fantasia title, and a number of other photos work as variations on a theme - for once this plethora of images seems justified by the imaginative concept. Her thick black wings suggest to me two enormous rusks, or a variant on the boa, and seem to vary in size. They hint at the 'demonic' aspect of her technique, as with Paganini, and are somehow playful in the best sense.