Astonished and amazed by the authority and superb musicianship of Taige Wang.A 12 year old pianist from California playing to a society audience,including HRH the Duke of Kent ,in the Polish Hearth Club to raise funds for the creation of The London International Chopin Competition for young pianists.
From Bach’s Aria Variata played with style and weight .Impeccable ornamentation and architectural shape were the hallmark of such a mature interpretation .
Chopin shorn of tradition gave us a Chopin Nocturne op 9 n.3 that was allowed to flow and speak so naturally with ravishing sound and tantalising rubato.Not since Lhévinne have I heard such a beguiling performance.
A B flat minor Scherzo of rhythmic precision , heart melting cantabile but above all an excitement that had us sitting on the edge of our seats as the finale exploded with a sumptuous display of pyrotechnics.
Mendelssohn’s Variations Serieuses were played with a driving rhythmic energy and kaleidoscopic sense of colour but above all an architectural shape that gave such strength to the work that Mendelssohn had donated to Liszt as his contribution to the proposed statue of Beethoven in Bonn.
Liszt’s Paganini Study n 6 and the 11th Hungarian Rhapsody showed off this young boy’s mastery but above all his impeccable musicianship in works that in lesser hands can seem like vulgar show pieces.It took these tiny hands today for them to be restored to their rightful place as masterpieces of their genre.
A Mendelssohn song without words op 67 n.2 showed off the subtle sense of style as the haunting staccato accompaniment became filled with all the charm and grace of pianists of another era – The Golden Age of Piano Playing .
Aria variata alla maniera italiana in A minor, BWV 989 is a keyboard work by J.S.Bach from around 1709 It consists of a theme and 10 virtuoso variations, each of them in binary form (two sections, both repeated). The work was probably created for a harpsichord,but there are numerous recordings with other instruments, notably with piano and organ. It shares many formal similarities with the later Goldberg Variations.The aria, for instance, is repeated at the end, although it is not an exact reiteration but rather another variation (the last, No X) with some slight changes. Still, it is moving to return to the mood of the opening, especially after the brilliance of the preceding two variations. Also like the ‘Goldberg’, the variations are based on the harmonic outline rather than on the opening melody. Each variation is in binary form (two sections, both repeated) and often requires subtle ornamentation to sustain the interest.
Variations sérieuses, op 54, by Felix Mendelssohn consists of a theme in D minor and 17 variations . It was completed on 4 June 1841.Many of the variations require a virtuoso technique. Mendelssohn’s good friend Ignaz Moscheles stated “I play the Variations sérieuses again and again, each time I enjoy the beauty again”.Mendelssohn is known to have written three sets of piano variations, but only this one was published during his lifetime.
The Scherzo No. 2 in B♭ minor, Op. 31 by Chopin was composed and published between 1835 and 1837,and dedicated to Countess Adèle Fürstenstein. Schumann compared this scherzo to a Byronic poem, “so overflowing with tenderness, boldness, love and contempt.” Chopin said that the renowned sotto voce opening was a question and the second phrase the answer: “For Chopin it was never questioning enough, never soft enough, never vaulted (tombe) enough. It must be a charnel-house.” The critic James Huneker “exults”: “What masterly writing, and it lies in the very heart of the piano! A hundred generations may not improve on these pages.”
The Grandes études de Paganini, S 141, are a series of six étudesfor the piano by Liszt,revised in 1851 from an earlier version (published as Études d’exécution transcendante d’après Paganini, S. 140, in 1838).The pieces are all based on the compositions of Niccolò Paganini for violin, and are among the most technically demanding pieces in the piano literature (especially the original versions, before Liszt revised them, thinning the textures and removing some of the more outrageous technical difficulties). The pieces run the gamut of technical hurdles, and frequently require very large stretches by the performer of an eleventh (although all stretches greater than a tenth were removed from the revised versions).Étude No. 6 in A minor (Quasi presto, a capriccio) – after Caprice n.24,with a slightly altered theme and 11 variations. A technically demanding work abounds with rapid octaves, scales, and arpeggios.
The Hungarian Rhapsodies by Liszt S.244 R.106 are a set of 19 miniature tone poems based on Hungarian folk theme’s during 1846–1853, and later in 1882 and 1885. Liszt incorporated many themes he had heard in his native western Hungary and which he believed to be folk music, though many were in fact tunes written by members of the Hungarian upper middle class, or by composers such as Jòzsef KossovitsJózsef often played by Gypsy bands. The large scale structure of each was influenced by the verbunkos,a Hungarian dance in several parts, each with a different tempo.Within this structure, Liszt preserved the two main structural elements of typical Gypsy improvisation—the lassan (“slow”) and the Frisia (“fast”). At the same time, Liszt incorporated a number of effects unique to the sound of Gypsy bands, especially the pianistic equivalent of the cimbalom.He also makes much use of the Hungarian gypsy scale