Articles by this Author
The transformation in the title of Yuja Wang's latest recording does not refer to her playing. Just as in her recitals and appearances with orchestras — more than a hundred each year — she sounds powerful but never loud, brilliant without arrogance, and always, always serving the music first, eliminating all the superficial stuff that so often plagues pianists.
Every time I hear what Gustav Mahler did not call his “Resurrection Symphony” — but others did — I think about what the work must have sounded like to the first listeners 115 years ago. Sure, they had heard “big sounds” from Beethoven and Wagner, though without Stravinsky, Bartók, and others in their ears, what could they have made of Mahler’s dizzying complexity?