RACHMANINOV, PROKOFIEV, Yuja Wang, Gustavo Dudamel
Piano Concerto No. 3 / Piano Concerto No. 2
Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov (1873 - 1943)
Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor, Op.30
1. 1. Allegro ma non tanto 15:50
2. 2. Intermezzo (Adagio) 10:38
3. 3. Finale (Alla breve) 14:17
Sergei Prokofiev (1891 - 1953)
Piano Concerto No.2 in G minor, Op.16
4. 1. Andantino 11:02
5. 2. Scherzo (Vivace) 2:22
6. 3. Intermezzo (Allegro moderato) 6:35
7. 4. Finale (Allegro tempestoso) 11:00
- Yuja Wang - piano
- Gustavo Dudamel - conductor
- Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela - orchestra
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. . . Wang is a force of nature . . . With concerti, Wang feeds off the energy from the orchestra. In her recent performance and upcoming CD with Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, the energy was palpable.
. . . [a] piano sensation. . . In the highly competitive world of classical piano, the diminutive Wang swings like a heavyweight, having impressed audiences all over the world with her technical prowess and broad repertoire that includes many of the most difficult pieces ever written for the instrument.
. . . a brilliant showcase for pianist Yuja Wang and maestro Gustavo Dudamel, two of the biggest sensations on the label . . . Wang's playing is clear and generally well-balanced in the audio mix . . . [Prokofiev 2]: the solo part is always audible, and the accompaniment is, for the most part, quite transparent . . . this exciting performance really deserves top billing . . .
It is a pleasure to appreciate the qualities and excitement of a live recording without distracting noises from the audience. And speaking of excitement, if there is one word to describe these performers, it is "exciting." On this record, we simply have two of the most electrifying musicians of the day accompanied by an orchestra that played a concert at Carnegie Hall that Wang described as "the most exciting concert I've been to." With this much enthusiasm by the soloist, conductor and orchestra, great things were bound to happen. And they did . . . [Prokofiev]: a wonderful addition [to great recordings] and worth every minute . . . . Unlike the Rachmaninoff, the Second Piano Concerto by Prokofiev is less well known, and it is here, I think, that the Dudamel-Wang duo really knock the ball out of the park. Wang displays a deep understanding of the work, and Dudamel's direction is spot on. In both concertos, Dudamel let's us hear Wang; the orchestra is truly there to accompany the soloist. This is really a must-have disc for anyone who is a fan of the piano concerto repertory or of Wang or Dudamel. If this disc is any indication of the special musical relationship between the two, we can only hope that there are many more recordings to come.
Powerful piano classics . . . The incandescent young Chinese pianist Yuja Wang teams up with the equally explosive Gustavo Dudamel . . . [a] superb debut collaboration.
. . . [Rachmaninov 3]: the piano part's swirling textures benefit from Wang's fanciful voicings, imaginative rubatos, and frisky, dead-on accurate fingerwork . . . For his part, Dudamel takes care that important first-desk solos get their due, such as in the first movement's rarely audible trumpet and the extended bassoon and horn passages. The oboe soloist at the Intermezzo's outset stands out . . . The darkly sustained strings and fluid grace of the nocturne-like piano writing in the Prokofiev Second's first movement are attention worthy . . . many memorable moments highlight this promising [release] . . .
It is difficult to believe that her dimintive body could have such incredible power and stamina, all obvious from these knock-out performances of two of the most difficult concertos in the repertory. The millions of notes are dispatched with the greatest virtuosity, yet no lack of sensitivity. This is an exciting Rachmaninoff Third that doesn't linger excessively . . . Wang also commands the mighty Prokofiev Concerto, and her performance is right at the top . . . Wang has the advantage of Dudamel's perfect accompaniment, and what a pleasure it is to hear the rich sounds of the large Venezuelan orchestra playing with virtuosity to match the soloist. Another plus is audio quality of these live recordings . . . This is a terrific recording in every way!
She has a technique every bit [formidable] . . . [Wang] just plays magnificently, with real respect for the music . . . [Wang], especially in the Rachmaninov, not only matches the great virtuosos of the past, such as Vladimir Horowitz and indeed Rachmaninov himself, in all the glitter and panache of this music, but also reveals the underlying sadness that the depressive Rachmaninov always wrote into his work . . . [Prokofiev]: extremely well done here . . . Gustavo Dudamel and his Simón Bolívar Orchestra are sympathetic accompanists.