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April 12   -   Guardian

Yuja Wang review – expressive performance with a devilish finish

Royal Festival Hall, London The piano prodigy’s playing was immaculate but calculated through Chopin and Brahms, though she brought the right energy to Scriabin

Yuja Wang had promised Schubert, Brahms and Chopin for her Royal Festival Hall recital in London. But by the time she walked on to the platform, the Schubert – two of the Three Piano Pieces, D946 – had been dropped, and the order of the other two works had been reversed, leaving barely an hour of music from her advertised programme.

So Wang launched straight into Chopin’s 24 Preludes, Op 28, in a performance that only occasionally flared into life – predictably enough in the numbers that are most technically demanding – but which too often resorted to tapering off the ends of phrases with diminuendos and ritardandos to conjure expressive effects. Her Chopin playing never for a moment seemed either personal or instinctive, just calculated and contrived.

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