Saturday 10 June 2017

Yuja Wang: Turkish March

Published on Oct 26, 2016 by E976
YouTube: CRAZY ENCORE BY YUJA WANG! Turkish March (Mozart/Volodos/Say) Carnegie Hall

Wikipedia: Yuja Wang
Yuja Wang (b 1987) is a Chinese classical pianist. She was born in Beijing, began studying piano there at age six, and went on to study at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. By the age of 21 she was already an internationally recognized concert pianist, giving recitals around the world. She has a recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon.

Wang has received attention as much for her eye-catching outfits and glamorous stage presence as for her piano playing. In a much-quoted 2011 review of a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles Times classical music critic Mark Swed wrote:

But it was Yuja Wang's orange dress for which Tuesday night is likely to remembered ... Her dress Tuesday was so short and tight that had there been any less of it, the Bowl might have been forced to restrict admission to any music lover under 18 not accompanied by an adult. Had her heels been any higher, walking, to say nothing of her sensitive pedaling, would have been unfeasible.

Swed was widely criticised for this aspect of his review.

Yuja Wang - Photo Courtesy of Echo Klassik

The New Yorker - Sep 5/2016
Yuja Wang and the Art of Performance by Janet Malcolm
The piano prodigy is known for the brilliance of her playing and for her dramatic outfits.

During the intermission of a recital at Carnegie Hall in May, Yuja changed from the relatively conventional long gold sequinned gown she had worn for the first half, two Brahms Ballades and Schumann’s “Kreisleriana,” into something more characteristically outré. For the second half, Beethoven’s extremely long and difficult Sonata No. 29 in B-Flat, known as the “Hammerklavier,” she wore a dress that was neither short nor long but both: a dark-blue-green number, also sequinned, with a long train on one side—the side not facing the audience—and nothing on the other, so that her right thigh and leg were completely exposed.

As she performed, the thigh, splayed by the weight of the torso and the action of the toe working the pedal, looked startlingly large, almost fat, though Yuja is a very slender woman. Her back was bare, thin straps crossing it. She looked like a dominatrix or a lion tamer’s assistant. She had come to tame the beast of a piece, this half-naked woman in sadistic high heels. Take that, and that, Beethoven!

My Thoughts
I read over the reviews written by Mark Swed and Janet Malcolm referenced above and was amused by the focus on the visual. If this had been a male pianist, I have no doubt nobody would be commenting on his suit or tux. Nevertheless, Ms. Wang is of the classical world, probably noted for its more reserved demeanor. If she were of the pop music world, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga or Madonna, we would expect to be entertained not just with sound, but with sight. Ms. Wang seems to ignoring the stuffiness of tradition and bumping it up a notch. Can a woman be accomplished and be beautiful? Can the world of classical music bring more visual, more entertainment to the proceedings?

Yuja Wang - Photo (c) Ian Douglas 


official web site: Yuja Wang

Facebook: Yuja Wang

The paraphrase on Mozart's music was given a flourish by Arcadi Volodos then jazzed up by Fazil Say. Ms. Wang executes it with aplomb. Man, does she have some chops.

Wikipedia: Arcadi Volodos
Arcadi Volodos (b 1972) is a Russian pianist. His first name is sometimes transliterated Arcady or Arkady.

YouTube: Volodos plays Turkish March (Volodos Turkish March)

YouTube: Mozart-Volodos - Concert Paraphrase on "Turkish March" (audio + sheet music)

Wikipedia: Fazil Say
Fazıl Say (b 1970) is a virtuoso Turkish pianist and composer who was born in Ankara, described recently as "not merely a pianist of genius; but undoubtedly he will be one of the great artists of the twenty-first century".

Chronological list of compositions
5a AllaTurca Jazz ( Mozart ) Piano 1993 Berlin

Uploaded on Oct 9, 2008 by
YouTube: Yuja Wang plays the Flight of the Bumble-Bee (Vol du Bourdon)

Yuja Wang by Norbert Kniat DG


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