Review: Rachmaninov with the LSO and Michael Tilson Thomas at the Barbican

“Yuja Wang was the soloist, bringing devil-may-care glamour and dexterity to the outer movements and exquisite poise to the central Andante, among the most beautiful things Shostakovich ever wrote.”

The Guardian

“Rachmaninov’s massive sonorities hold no terrors for her, she’s equally capable of exquisitely nuanced playing, as evidenced by the beautifully weighted chords at the close of the second movement and the delicate filigree of the opening of the third.”

Evening Standard

“Shostakovich’s Second Piano Concerto is a score that suits Yuja Wang’s formidable talent for prestidigitation perfectly. This was in fact a match made in heaven between the LSO and Wang… Both Wang and Tilson Thomas seem to have the perfect awareness of Shostakovich’s harmonic processes both on a delicious moment-to-moment basis and on the larger structural canvas.”

Seen and heard international

“The Chinese pianist is as irrepressibly virtuosic (and as exuberantly dressed) as ever, though in Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 2 we also heard her as a chamber musician. Deft in her interplay with the orchestra, Wang’s part dipped in and out of view in textures constantly balanced and rebalanced.

Having carved the opening chords deep into the piano, laying down her marker for an unapologetically dramatic rendition, she proceeded to skim the music’s surface with impish passagework, marking out the scope of a performance that delighted in shifts of perspective – playful games of conceal and reveal with the LSO’s woodwind and brass sections.”