Bruce Liu’s triumphant debut at the Edinburgh Festival

Bruce Xiaoyu Liu ‘s triumphant appearance at the Edinburgh Festival this morning.

Pianist Bruce Liu makes his debut live at the Queen’s Hall following his win at the 2021 Chopin Piano Competition. Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni is the inspiration behind two pieces we hear today; a set of theme and variations by Chopin and a fantasy by Liszt. The recital opens with a selection of music by Rameau, from his Suites in D and G and Bruce Liu closes with Ravel’s musical depictions of moths, birds, boats and church bells in his colourful five-movement suite. 

Rameau: Les Tendres Plaintes 
Rameau: Les Cyclopes 
Rameau: Menuets 1 et 2 
Rameau: Les Sauvages 
Rameau: La Poule 
Rameau: Gavotte et six doubles 
Chopin Variations on ‘La ci darem la mano’ from Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Op 2

Ravel: Miroirs
Liszt: Reminiscences de Don Juan, S 418

A ravishing Rameau of such finesse and beauty was followed by the aristocratic charm and scintillating jeux perlé of Chopin’s youthful Don Giovanni Fantasy op 2 – I imagine Schumann’s own reaction to Chopin’s performance would apply here today too.’Hats off,gentlemen, a genius’ .
Ravels Miroirs had such a refined tone palette that Ravel’s moths could flutter as they rarely are allowed to do so ,or the birds allowed to drown in their doleful song of such beauty and atmosphere .But the splashing waves of the Ocean and the magic valley of the Bells were greeted by a Jester who was very much part of this magic circle that this young man had so miraculously depicted .
The minutes off aching silence at the end were of a public totally overcome and hypnotised by this extraordinarily refined playing .
The war horse of Liszt’s Don Juan Fantasy was restored to its rightful place in the hands of this remarkable young magician.

Cascades of notes but we could always see and feel the presence of Mozart’s characters as he brought them to life with a sense of individual personality and colour that only Liszt or Busoni could have imagined.A tour de force of transcendental technical mastery at the service of the music.
Chopin’s magical C sharp minor nocturne op posth was Bruce’s way of thanking his Scottish friends who had filled every seat in the unique Queens Hall.

But little did they know that this young man was ready to let his hair down and join in the fun with Chopin’s own tribute to a remarkable people .Trois Ecossaises were played with an irresistible joie de vivre and the charm of another age -I have not heard the like since Magaloff on this very stage a very long time ago!

What better way for the indomitable Yisha Xue of the National Liberal Club than to toast Bruce Liu with Scottish Whisky
And before the concert a walk in the nature reserve with city colleague Hazel Cameron
Janina Fialkowska :’It was wonderful having Bruce Liu as part of the Canadian PianoFest at the Festival of the Sound in Parry Sound, Ontario last month. Here is a short interview we gave together which is now available on Youtube.’

Oberlin Masterclass with William Grant Naboré


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