Yuja Wang's Piano Sprints
by Seth Colter Walls | October 31, 2013
Newcomers on the virtuoso scene always face accusations of flash over substance. And Yuja Wang certainly has a lot of hey-wow technique: A cursory listen to the pianist's easy-sounding strut through the "Russian Dance" (from Igor Stravinsky's tough piano arrangement of "Three Dances from Petrushka") verifies that we're talking about a high level of skill.
But that's not all Wang is up to: A new recording of Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2 shows that she's not all about speed and power. (Though her partners in that performance -- Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolivár Orchestra -- certainly encourage her to blast in the right moments.) Click on the appended playlist to sample some of Wang's most successful recordings thus far in her young career. And refer back to this post for the composer and composition details below. Enjoy!
Tracks 1-3: Igor Stravinsky, "Three Dances from Petrushka"
Tracks 4-5: Gyorgy Ligeti's Piano Etudes (selections)
Tracks 6-9: Sergei Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2
Tracks 10-14: Alexander Scriabin's piano works (selections)
Tracks 15-40: Sergey Rachmaninov, "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini"
Tracks 41-43: Rachmaninov, Piano Concerto No. 3