Santa Cecilia Hall, Auditorium Parco della Musica – 18 January 2014
Less than two months after her last appearance in Rome in the company of Leonidas Kavakos, the utterly amazing Yuja Wang was back at the Auditorium Parco della Musica on Saturday, this time under the baton of conductor Sir Antonio Pappano, musical director of the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Yuja’s recently released live recording with Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 has rarely left my CD player over the last few weeks, so I couldn’t wait to hear her perform Prokofiev’s colossal, yet intricate, work in Rome.
|CD autographed by Yuja Wang after concert!|
It was an exhilarating performance of virtuoso technical brilliance, played fearlessly by one of the most talented young concert pianists in the world today. The applause was thunderous and Yuja was called back out for four curtain calls. There was an audible sigh of fleeting disappointment when it became clear that there would be no encore, but after such a formidable performance, it was clear that Yuja had given us her all. Stunning.
The evening was rounded out after the intermission by the melancholy elegance of Brahms Symphony No. 2. A greater contrast would be hard to find, but it acted beautifully as a virtual decompression chamber after Yuja’s electrifying Prokofiev.
Symphony No. 59 “Fire”
Piano Concerto No. 2
Symphony No. 2