Prom 63: Yuja Wang plays Rachmaninov

Soloist Yuja Wang’s stunning interpretation of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 3 was explosive and emotive in equal measure.

Wang captured two of Rachmaninov’s key qualities. She mastered this fiendishly virtuosic piece with theatrical prowess whilst also expressing the yearning of the famously romantic composer. She had her own powerful interpretation; almost playful in her playing of the higher solo sections of the second movement, almost unhinged in the more frantic sections. The energy of the concerto was perfectly echoed as Wang lead the audience through quiet, emotive sections before launching suddenly into clattering crescendoes. She concluded by ripping through the finale with a flourish that invited rapturous applause.

The concerto started with a refrain played over tense strings. The conductor Myung-Whun Chung at times appeared to curtail Wang, only for the soloist to escape with clattering scales and arpeggios. After working through emotive string sections, the piece built to a towering finale. 

The concerto was followed by a light, lyrical performance of Brahms’ graceful Symphony No. 2 from the Staatskapelle Dresden Orchestra. They presented the piece’s darker undertones with characteristic class and ease. The clouds clear in the symphony’s latter section, providing a jubilant finale to a showcase of superb talent. 

Featured image: Chris Christodoulou.


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