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Precision on the keyboard

By Fang Aiqing | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-12-19 16:55

Pianist Yuja Wang [Photo provided to China Daily]

Two nights in a row over the past weekend, pianist Yuja Wang ignited a full-house audience at the National Centre for the Performing arts in Beijing, with a recital that "began and ended in silence", as she put it.

It had been seven years since her last performance at the venue.

After her signature quick and deep bow, Wang started from Olivier Messiaen's Le Baiser de l'Enfant-Jesus and Regard de l'Esprit de joie, followed by Aleksandr Scriabin's Piano Sonata No 7, Op 64 and Claude Debussy's L'Isle Joyeuse.

In the second half, she led the audience into Chopin's innermost world with the composer's well-structured, lyrical Ballade No 4 in F Minor, Op 52 and concluded the flashback recital with Beethoven's Piano Sonata No 32, Op 111.

Pianist Yuja Wang [Photo provided to China Daily]

The music "guides us on a spiritual path, mirroring one of many ways to enlightenment through life itself. These works focus on love, illumination, improvisation and nostalgia. Through numerous struggles we find peace and strength", Wang wrote about this recital program on Nov 30, the eve of her homeland tour.

Both recitals in Beijing, the last stop of this China tour, saw her answer 50-minute encores.

Apart from her frequent encore repertoire like Nikolai Kapustin's Toccatina from his Eight Concert Etudes, Op 40, Vladimir Horowitz' Variations on A Theme from Bizet's Carmen and Mozart's Turkish March, Wang played He Luting's ditty, The Cowherd's Flute, and Wang Lisan's sonatina Under the Sunshine. Both, she played and indeed recorded demonstration videos in her childhood.

Since this month, Wang has toured nine domestic cities, including Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, setting off a craze almost everywhere. Tickets were sold out in simply several minutes in cities like Beijing and Shanghai, and some additional sessions were announced, and sold out, too.

Pianist Yuja Wang [Photo provided to China Daily]
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