HAO ZI YOH at St James’s

More surprises in London today at St James`s with the Malaysian pianist Hao Zi Yoh. A waif of a young girl in a flaming red dress came floating on to open up a real Pandoras box infront of an attentive and delighted audience. A real conjuring trick on a not easy Fazioli piano. In her hands Beethoven`s op 109 was restored to its rightful place at the pinnacle of the piano repertoire.The form,as we have come to expect from her much admired teacher Christopher Elton ,strictly adhered to but with just the right flexibility and sound that is the stuff of only a chosen few. One of those that springs to mind immediately is Alicia deLarocha .Often I would sit in the wings of my theatre during her recitals and would marvel not only at her composure and complete command but at the ravishing sounds that such a small hand could conjure up from a box of hammers and strings .Infact turning baubels into gems just as Hai Zi Yoh did today with Albeniz Rondena and Triana . Szymanowski`s DonJuan Serenade from Masques proceeded this and she made just as persuasive a case as Richter in restoring this pianistic masterpiece to the repertoire. Of couse it takes a trascendental technique to be able to do justice to this amazingly intricate web of sounds Almost as an encore we got some pure jazz with Kapustin`s Oscar Peterson like Blue Bossa Paraphrase. And here as with all seasoned jazz players we were treated to some very refined and exhilarating piano playing. Let us not forget this extraordinary prize winner of the Jaques Samuel Piano Competition

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