Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Yundi @Carnegie Hall, May 20th

Every once in a while, I deviate from the usual indie rock show and go back to my roots -- 10 years of piano lessons when I was a kid. And I can blame/thank my mom for that. We were originally supposed to see the Chinese wunderkind Yundi back in November of last year, but it was rescheduled to this Spring, which nicely coincided with the Dalai Lama being in town at Radio City Music Hall, to which I won a pair of passes for earlier in the day.

As you can see from the above cell phone pic I snuck, I purposely picked seats in the Second Tier that would allow us to have a good view of the piano so we could see his handiwork. The program was almost entirely comprised of pieces by Chopin, including Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35, aka the Funeral March. As the first part was all nocturnes, I thought his performance, though technically impressive, was a bit restrained (especially compared to a flamboyant nutjob like Lang Lang). But once he got into the Polonaises, Yundi really took off from the preciousness that so dominated his nocturnes. He closed out the evening with two encores, including a traditional Chinese song my mom picked up on, and Etude in C minor, Op. 10, No. 12 (Revolutionary), which left the not-quite full auditorium breathless.

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