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Études-tableaux Op.39
Sergei Rachmaninoff Lyrics


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Mario DiSarli

Ah, Rachmaninoff & Yuja?! The Classical Review
Wang’s powerful virtuosity stronger on flash than depth in Boston recital
May 13, 2018
By Aaron Keebaugh
Yuja Wang performed Friday night at Jordan Hall for the Celebrity Series. Photo: Robert Torres
...
There is no doubting Yuja Wang’s technique at the keyboard. The Chinese-born pianist is capable of unleashing torrents of octave runs, and her left-hand figures supply an almost orchestral sense of depth and gravity to her sound. She clearly shapes every phrase, and her notes resonate with a ping.
...
Still, there were times Friday night when one wondered if Wang only saw some of this music as just showpieces for her mesmerizing technical skill. Her selections of Rachmaninoff Preludes and Études-tableaux, though played deftly, didn’t always flower with the vocal quality so integral to the composer’s style.

Wang takes a full-bodied approach to Rachmaninoff, and she renders his textures in multi-dimensional shapes. In the Prelude in G minor, Op. 23, No. 5, her strong left hand figures tethered the march rhythms to the ground. The Prelude in B minor, Op. 32, No. 10 unfolded in Debussyian washes of color. In the Étude-tableau in E-flat minor, Op. 39, No. 5, Wang’s harmonies and bass lines crashed together in blistering clusters. But in each, Rachmaninoff sense of sweeping grandeur went largely unexplored.

Three of Ligeti’s Etudes, which filled out the program, were similarly muscular but lacking in probing musicality. Wang’s running chromatic figures blurred into a fog in Etude No. 9, “Vertige,” and in Etude No. 1, “Désordre,” churning Bartókian rhythms propelled the music ever forward. In Etude No. 3, “Touches bloquées,” Wang’s performance needed more of the intimacy that this music requires. Though Wang played the work quickly—as marked—the Etude’s halo-like harmonics, caused by the pianist keeping some of the keys depressed with the left hand while punching out syncopated figures with the right, failed to shimmer. Ligeti incorporated difficult passages into these works not as vehicles for showboating but to create ethereal musical tapestries. And throughout, it seemed as if Wang was playing Ligeti’s notes, not Ligeti’s music.
...
The program will be repeated 8 p.m. Thursday night at Carnegie Hall in New York. carnegiehall.org.



Mario DiSarli

The New York Times Review. Yuja Wang Plays Dazed Chaos, Then 7 Encores By Zachary Woolfe May 18, 2018 The usual praise for a musician who plays a recital in a big hall is that he or she makes that big hall feel small.

But on Thursday, the pianist Yuja Wang made Carnegie Hall seem even vaster than normal: big, empty, lonely. Through her concert’s uncompromisingly grim first half and its wary, stunned second, Ms. Wang charted wholly dark, private emotions. She was in no way hostile toward an adoring (if slightly disoriented) audience, but neither did she seem at all interested in seducing it.

After the playbills had been printed, Ms. Wang — who will have a Perspectives series at Carnegie next season — revised her program. She subtracted two of the four Rachmaninoff preludes she’d planned to give before intermission and added an extra three of his later, even less scrutable Études-Tableaux. Ms. Wang played none of these pieces in a way that made them seem grounded or orderly; she even seemed to want to run the seven together in an unbroken, heady minor-key span, a choice that most — but not enough — of the audience respected by not clapping in between.

Even divided by light applause, these pieces blurred into and stretched toward one another. Doing nothing that felt exaggerated or overwrought, Ms. Wang emphasized unsettled harmonies and de-emphasized melodic integrity. The Étude-Tableau, in E-flat Minor (Op. 33, No. 6) wasn’t the juxtaposition of one hand’s abstraction and the other’s clear etching. No, she was telling two surreal tales at once. The martial opening of the Prelude in G Minor (Op. 23, No. 5) swiftly unraveled into something woozy and bewildering. The washes of sound in the Étude-Tableau in C Minor (Op. 39, No. 1) were set alongside insectlike fingerwork — neurotic, insistent, claustrophobic.
...

Her bending of the line in the Étude-Tableau in B Minor (Op. 39, No. 4) felt like the turning of a widening gyre, infusing the evocation of aristocratic nostalgia with anxiety. (Rachmaninoff composed most of the works Ms. Wang played as World War I loomed and unfolded, and the 19th century finally ended.) The stretched-out, washed-out quality of melancholy in her account of the Étude-Tableau in C Minor (Op. 33, No. 3), made that sorrow seem more like resignation: The loneliness she depicted felt familiar to her, even comfortable.

The prevailing mood — dreamlike sadness; a feeling of being lost; rushing through darkness — continued in what followed. The relentless trills and tremolos of Scriabin’s Sonata No. 10 — which is sometimes played lusciously but was here diffuse and gauzy — glittered angrily. Three Ligeti etudes from the 1980s and ’90s proved that Rachmaninoff and Scriabin, as she presented them, were presentiments of the modernism of the distant future.

There was the sense that more time than just 20 minutes — decades, perhaps — had elapsed during intermission, after which Ms. Wang played Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 8, composed during World War II. Here, playing with guarded poise, Ms. Wang seemed to inhabit a kind of aftermath of the dazed chaos she had depicted in the early-20th-century works on the first half. The contours were sharper now, the colors brighter and bolder. The effect was still unnerving.

I considered whether Ms. Wang’s flamboyant clothes — in the first half, a floor-length purple gown with only a slash of sparkle covering her breasts; in the second, a tiny iridescent turquoise dress with vertiginous heels — were the right costume here. They did give the impression that she had arrived alone, a disconcerting combination of powerful and vulnerable, at a not particularly appealing party. In that sense they were a fitting complement to her ominous vision of this music.

Likewise, it seemed at first that a few of her seven — yes, seven — encores jarred with the forlorn mood she’d built up. Vladimir Horowitz’s “Carmen” fantasia, an Art Tatum stride version of “Tea for Two,” a demented arrangement of Mozart’s “Rondo alla Turca” — all were blazingly performed but had a touch of cheerful kitsch about them. But perhaps they, too, were of a piece with the intoxication that permeated the recital.
...

And by the end, as she followed the “Mélodie” from Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice” with Schubert’s “Gretchen am Spinnrade,” Ms. Wang finally seemed to have found a measure of real, hard-earned peace.



Mario DiSarli

Ah, Rachmaninoff & Yuja?! The Classical Review
Wang’s powerful virtuosity stronger on flash than depth in Boston recital
May 13, 2018
By Aaron Keebaugh
Yuja Wang performed Friday night at Jordan Hall for the Celebrity Series. Photo: Robert Torres
...
There is no doubting Yuja Wang’s technique at the keyboard. The Chinese-born pianist is capable of unleashing torrents of octave runs, and her left-hand figures supply an almost orchestral sense of depth and gravity to her sound. She clearly shapes every phrase, and her notes resonate with a ping.
...
Still, there were times Friday night when one wondered if Wang only saw some of this music as just showpieces for her mesmerizing technical skill. Her selections of Rachmaninoff Preludes and Études-tableaux, though played deftly, didn’t always flower with the vocal quality so integral to the composer’s style.

Wang takes a full-bodied approach to Rachmaninoff, and she renders his textures in multi-dimensional shapes. In the Prelude in G minor, Op. 23, No. 5, her strong left hand figures tethered the march rhythms to the ground. The Prelude in B minor, Op. 32, No. 10 unfolded in Debussyian washes of color. In the Étude-tableau in E-flat minor, Op. 39, No. 5, Wang’s harmonies and bass lines crashed together in blistering clusters. But in each, Rachmaninoff sense of sweeping grandeur went largely unexplored.

Three of Ligeti’s Etudes, which filled out the program, were similarly muscular but lacking in probing musicality. Wang’s running chromatic figures blurred into a fog in Etude No. 9, “Vertige,” and in Etude No. 1, “Désordre,” churning Bartókian rhythms propelled the music ever forward. In Etude No. 3, “Touches bloquées,” Wang’s performance needed more of the intimacy that this music requires. Though Wang played the work quickly—as marked—the Etude’s halo-like harmonics, caused by the pianist keeping some of the keys depressed with the left hand while punching out syncopated figures with the right, failed to shimmer. Ligeti incorporated difficult passages into these works not as vehicles for showboating but to create ethereal musical tapestries. And throughout, it seemed as if Wang was playing Ligeti’s notes, not Ligeti’s music.
...
The program will be repeated 8 p.m. Thursday night at Carnegie Hall in New York. carnegiehall.org.



Mario DiSarli

The New York Times Review. Yuja Wang Plays Dazed Chaos, Then 7 Encores By Zachary Woolfe May 18, 2018 The usual praise for a musician who plays a recital in a big hall is that he or she makes that big hall feel small.

But on Thursday, the pianist Yuja Wang made Carnegie Hall seem even vaster than normal: big, empty, lonely. Through her concert’s uncompromisingly grim first half and its wary, stunned second, Ms. Wang charted wholly dark, private emotions. She was in no way hostile toward an adoring (if slightly disoriented) audience, but neither did she seem at all interested in seducing it.

After the playbills had been printed, Ms. Wang — who will have a Perspectives series at Carnegie next season — revised her program. She subtracted two of the four Rachmaninoff preludes she’d planned to give before intermission and added an extra three of his later, even less scrutable Études-Tableaux. Ms. Wang played none of these pieces in a way that made them seem grounded or orderly; she even seemed to want to run the seven together in an unbroken, heady minor-key span, a choice that most — but not enough — of the audience respected by not clapping in between.

Even divided by light applause, these pieces blurred into and stretched toward one another. Doing nothing that felt exaggerated or overwrought, Ms. Wang emphasized unsettled harmonies and de-emphasized melodic integrity. The Étude-Tableau, in E-flat Minor (Op. 33, No. 6) wasn’t the juxtaposition of one hand’s abstraction and the other’s clear etching. No, she was telling two surreal tales at once. The martial opening of the Prelude in G Minor (Op. 23, No. 5) swiftly unraveled into something woozy and bewildering. The washes of sound in the Étude-Tableau in C Minor (Op. 39, No. 1) were set alongside insectlike fingerwork — neurotic, insistent, claustrophobic.
...

Her bending of the line in the Étude-Tableau in B Minor (Op. 39, No. 4) felt like the turning of a widening gyre, infusing the evocation of aristocratic nostalgia with anxiety. (Rachmaninoff composed most of the works Ms. Wang played as World War I loomed and unfolded, and the 19th century finally ended.) The stretched-out, washed-out quality of melancholy in her account of the Étude-Tableau in C Minor (Op. 33, No. 3), made that sorrow seem more like resignation: The loneliness she depicted felt familiar to her, even comfortable.

The prevailing mood — dreamlike sadness; a feeling of being lost; rushing through darkness — continued in what followed. The relentless trills and tremolos of Scriabin’s Sonata No. 10 — which is sometimes played lusciously but was here diffuse and gauzy — glittered angrily. Three Ligeti etudes from the 1980s and ’90s proved that Rachmaninoff and Scriabin, as she presented them, were presentiments of the modernism of the distant future.

There was the sense that more time than just 20 minutes — decades, perhaps — had elapsed during intermission, after which Ms. Wang played Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 8, composed during World War II. Here, playing with guarded poise, Ms. Wang seemed to inhabit a kind of aftermath of the dazed chaos she had depicted in the early-20th-century works on the first half. The contours were sharper now, the colors brighter and bolder. The effect was still unnerving.

I considered whether Ms. Wang’s flamboyant clothes — in the first half, a floor-length purple gown with only a slash of sparkle covering her breasts; in the second, a tiny iridescent turquoise dress with vertiginous heels — were the right costume here. They did give the impression that she had arrived alone, a disconcerting combination of powerful and vulnerable, at a not particularly appealing party. In that sense they were a fitting complement to her ominous vision of this music.

Likewise, it seemed at first that a few of her seven — yes, seven — encores jarred with the forlorn mood she’d built up. Vladimir Horowitz’s “Carmen” fantasia, an Art Tatum stride version of “Tea for Two,” a demented arrangement of Mozart’s “Rondo alla Turca” — all were blazingly performed but had a touch of cheerful kitsch about them. But perhaps they, too, were of a piece with the intoxication that permeated the recital.
...

And by the end, as she followed the “Mélodie” from Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice” with Schubert’s “Gretchen am Spinnrade,” Ms. Wang finally seemed to have found a measure of real, hard-earned peace.



Mario DiSarli

Ah, Rachmaninoff & Yuja?! The Classical Review
Wang’s powerful virtuosity stronger on flash than depth in Boston recital
May 13, 2018
By Aaron Keebaugh
Yuja Wang performed Friday night at Jordan Hall for the Celebrity Series. Photo: Robert Torres
...
There is no doubting Yuja Wang’s technique at the keyboard. The Chinese-born pianist is capable of unleashing torrents of octave runs, and her left-hand figures supply an almost orchestral sense of depth and gravity to her sound. She clearly shapes every phrase, and her notes resonate with a ping.
...
Still, there were times Friday night when one wondered if Wang only saw some of this music as just showpieces for her mesmerizing technical skill. Her selections of Rachmaninoff Preludes and Études-tableaux, though played deftly, didn’t always flower with the vocal quality so integral to the composer’s style.

Wang takes a full-bodied approach to Rachmaninoff, and she renders his textures in multi-dimensional shapes. In the Prelude in G minor, Op. 23, No. 5, her strong left hand figures tethered the march rhythms to the ground. The Prelude in B minor, Op. 32, No. 10 unfolded in Debussyian washes of color. In the Étude-tableau in E-flat minor, Op. 39, No. 5, Wang’s harmonies and bass lines crashed together in blistering clusters. But in each, Rachmaninoff sense of sweeping grandeur went largely unexplored.

Three of Ligeti’s Etudes, which filled out the program, were similarly muscular but lacking in probing musicality. Wang’s running chromatic figures blurred into a fog in Etude No. 9, “Vertige,” and in Etude No. 1, “Désordre,” churning Bartókian rhythms propelled the music ever forward. In Etude No. 3, “Touches bloquées,” Wang’s performance needed more of the intimacy that this music requires. Though Wang played the work quickly—as marked—the Etude’s halo-like harmonics, caused by the pianist keeping some of the keys depressed with the left hand while punching out syncopated figures with the right, failed to shimmer. Ligeti incorporated difficult passages into these works not as vehicles for showboating but to create ethereal musical tapestries. And throughout, it seemed as if Wang was playing Ligeti’s notes, not Ligeti’s music.
...
The program will be repeated 8 p.m. Thursday night at Carnegie Hall in New York. carnegiehall.org.



Mario DiSarli

The New York Times Review. Yuja Wang Plays Dazed Chaos, Then 7 Encores By Zachary Woolfe May 18, 2018 The usual praise for a musician who plays a recital in a big hall is that he or she makes that big hall feel small.

But on Thursday, the pianist Yuja Wang made Carnegie Hall seem even vaster than normal: big, empty, lonely. Through her concert’s uncompromisingly grim first half and its wary, stunned second, Ms. Wang charted wholly dark, private emotions. She was in no way hostile toward an adoring (if slightly disoriented) audience, but neither did she seem at all interested in seducing it.

After the playbills had been printed, Ms. Wang — who will have a Perspectives series at Carnegie next season — revised her program. She subtracted two of the four Rachmaninoff preludes she’d planned to give before intermission and added an extra three of his later, even less scrutable Études-Tableaux. Ms. Wang played none of these pieces in a way that made them seem grounded or orderly; she even seemed to want to run the seven together in an unbroken, heady minor-key span, a choice that most — but not enough — of the audience respected by not clapping in between.

Even divided by light applause, these pieces blurred into and stretched toward one another. Doing nothing that felt exaggerated or overwrought, Ms. Wang emphasized unsettled harmonies and de-emphasized melodic integrity. The Étude-Tableau, in E-flat Minor (Op. 33, No. 6) wasn’t the juxtaposition of one hand’s abstraction and the other’s clear etching. No, she was telling two surreal tales at once. The martial opening of the Prelude in G Minor (Op. 23, No. 5) swiftly unraveled into something woozy and bewildering. The washes of sound in the Étude-Tableau in C Minor (Op. 39, No. 1) were set alongside insectlike fingerwork — neurotic, insistent, claustrophobic.
...

Her bending of the line in the Étude-Tableau in B Minor (Op. 39, No. 4) felt like the turning of a widening gyre, infusing the evocation of aristocratic nostalgia with anxiety. (Rachmaninoff composed most of the works Ms. Wang played as World War I loomed and unfolded, and the 19th century finally ended.) The stretched-out, washed-out quality of melancholy in her account of the Étude-Tableau in C Minor (Op. 33, No. 3), made that sorrow seem more like resignation: The loneliness she depicted felt familiar to her, even comfortable.

The prevailing mood — dreamlike sadness; a feeling of being lost; rushing through darkness — continued in what followed. The relentless trills and tremolos of Scriabin’s Sonata No. 10 — which is sometimes played lusciously but was here diffuse and gauzy — glittered angrily. Three Ligeti etudes from the 1980s and ’90s proved that Rachmaninoff and Scriabin, as she presented them, were presentiments of the modernism of the distant future.

There was the sense that more time than just 20 minutes — decades, perhaps — had elapsed during intermission, after which Ms. Wang played Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 8, composed during World War II. Here, playing with guarded poise, Ms. Wang seemed to inhabit a kind of aftermath of the dazed chaos she had depicted in the early-20th-century works on the first half. The contours were sharper now, the colors brighter and bolder. The effect was still unnerving.

I considered whether Ms. Wang’s flamboyant clothes — in the first half, a floor-length purple gown with only a slash of sparkle covering her breasts; in the second, a tiny iridescent turquoise dress with vertiginous heels — were the right costume here. They did give the impression that she had arrived alone, a disconcerting combination of powerful and vulnerable, at a not particularly appealing party. In that sense they were a fitting complement to her ominous vision of this music.

Likewise, it seemed at first that a few of her seven — yes, seven — encores jarred with the forlorn mood she’d built up. Vladimir Horowitz’s “Carmen” fantasia, an Art Tatum stride version of “Tea for Two,” a demented arrangement of Mozart’s “Rondo alla Turca” — all were blazingly performed but had a touch of cheerful kitsch about them. But perhaps they, too, were of a piece with the intoxication that permeated the recital.
...

And by the end, as she followed the “Mélodie” from Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice” with Schubert’s “Gretchen am Spinnrade,” Ms. Wang finally seemed to have found a measure of real, hard-earned peace.



All comments from YouTube:

Miguel Fontes Meira

I just imagine the process of composing this piece and it all seems so misterious and yet organic, inevitable

Benjamin Fan

1:06 nice sweet calming interlude

Cissy L

I like the inner lines she brought out!!

Timothy Chiang Pianist

Really wonderful playing! Very natural feel for the music, even a lot of high level pianists play this too mechanically

carl armstrong

Yuja is quite simply astonishing. She plays every composer superbly. This Etude Tableaux never sounded better, although the supreme tests are in the two D minor Etudes and the E flat minor opus 39 #5.

Mr Kitrid

@Mario DiSarli These reviews are some of the most hilarious boomer things I've ever read, lol.

Johannes Ostenfeld-Rosenthal

@Mario DiSarli The most redicoulous and wrong review i have ever seen!! "Half cirkus horse half maschine" "and turns the piano into a drumkit" - rascist like and prejudiced writing about the best, both technical and artistic, pianist in the wotld today: Envyfull or bribed. You seem odd too - showing it!

Valou Dems

You should listen to Lugansky

Mario DiSarli

@Simulacreage
THE NEW YORKER <Yuja Wang and the art of performance> by Janet Malcolm " What is one to think of the clothes the twenty-nine-year-old pianist Yuja Wang wears when she performs—extremely short and tight dresses that ride up as she plays, so that she has to tug at them when she has a free hand, or clinging backless gowns that give an impression of near-nakedness (accompanied in all cases by four-inch-high stiletto heels)? In 2011, Mark Swed, the music critic of the L.A. Times, referring to the short and tight orange dress Yuja wore when she played Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto at the Hollywood Bowl, wrote 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.” Two years later, the New Criterion critic Jay Nordlinger characterized the “shorter-than-short red dress, barely covering her rear,” that Yuja wore for a Carnegie Hall recital as “stripper-wear.” Never has the relationship between what we see at a concert and what we hear come under such perplexing scrutiny. Is the seeing part a distraction (Glenn Gould thought it was) or is it—can it be—a heightening of the musical experience? 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! ..."

Simulacreage

@Mario DiSarli I'm gay so I have no "prurient fascination" with Yuja. You are obviously speaking for yourself.

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