Showing posts with label Yuja Wang. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yuja Wang. Show all posts

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Favourite things: Yuja Wang plays Flight of the Bumble Bee

I offer you this incredible performance by La Yuja partly because life feels ever so slightly like this piece of music right now. I don't know what Rimsky's bees are on, but whatever it is, I may need some. Fasten your seatbelts.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"Heifetz Face"

Yesterday I mentioned the syndrome of "Heifetz Face" - the directing of energy into the music rather than into emoting or histrionics. It doesn't mean the performer demonstrates nothing at all of his/her ongoing musical response, just that he/she keeps it to a minimum and the music speaks for itself - often rather well. Here are a few examples of it.

Heifetz himself, of course:

Daniel Barenboim:

Yuja Wang:

And here is the opposite.

Lots of different ways of doing things, of course. It's all part of life's rich tapestry.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

International Women's Day - a little listening

As you know, it's International Women's Day - a concept I'm not all that mad about, since it implies that the men get the other 364, and this time 365 because it's a leap year.

Nevertheless, it's a great opportunity to note that great musicianship transcends all those issues. There's a major and ongoing problem with the bimbo-isation, if you'll pardon the term, of young musicians in particular: nobody has any illusions any more that young women have to be selected by agents, record companies and so on for their musicianship above their looks. The standout ones, however, can still win through. Here are an initial selection of just ten of my favourite musicians at the top today: solo instrumentalists at different stages of life whose artistry is exceptional. Please note that no particular order of ranking is implied in this selection - and I could easily have added another ten at the very least. Tomorrow: composers!

Meanwhile, at the Southbank Centre, the festival Women of the World is underway - more details here.

Now, prepare to be wowed...




The Sibelius Violin Concerto. Embedding has been disabled - please click through for this amazing 1981 performance.








Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sartorial snobbery on the stage?

The recent row about Rihanna and her bra in the fields makes most classical musicians' clothing look staid, even at its shortest and tightest. 

So why do people get into such a stew over the gorgeous Yuja and her concert attire? At least she looks good in it. And as for orchestras... I'd say "don't get me started," but recently my boss at the Independent did indeed get me started, so here's the result.