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Classical Music

People are Talking: UMS Presents Yuja Wang at Hill Auditorium [plus AUDIO]

Posted: 10/9/11 -- 12:00 am

43

avatar by Sara Billmann

1. Yuja at the post-performance reception. 2. Yuja with UMS Technical Director Jeff Beyersdorf. Photos by Programming Manager Mark Jacobson.

Tell us what you thought! This is the place to comment on the performance and talk to other people about what you saw and heard.  Don’t forget to click the option to be notified when new comments are posted.

ENCORES:
· Prokofiev : Toccata
· Dukas : “The Sorceror’s Apprentice” arranged by Yuja Wang
· Schubert : Gretchen am Spinnrade, arranged by Liszt
· Gluck : Melody, arranged by Rachmaninoff

We caught up with Yuja after her fourth encore. Listen in:

UMS Presents: Interview with pianist Yuja Wang by UniversityMusicalSociety

Sara Billmann is UMS's Director of Marketing & Communications. A former UMS intern, she has spent half of her life working with UMS.

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  • avatar

    Three things:

    1. Wang is good. Quirky, but good.

    2. How hard is it to turn off your f’n cell phone? Not just the guy in front of you or next to you or behind you. But YOU? How hard?

    3. If you have a cough, stay home. I don’t care if you bought a ticket. I don’t care if you want to hear the show. I don’t want to hear you coughing, and neither do the other 3,500 people in Hill. Who says that it’s the youngsters who have no manners?

    Reply
  • avatar

    Terrific concert.

    It would be much appreciated if some musically knowledgeable person, or someone from UMS, could post what the encores were. Thank you.

    Reply
  • avatar

    Yuja Wang was sensational. I loved her energy and all the stamina she had by performing FOUR encores after a challenging program.

    Can someone please tell me:

    1) The arranger of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” that she played.

    2) Title and composer of her 3rd and 4th encores.

    Thank you!

    Reply
  • avatar

    Amazing concert…

    I’m looking for the title of her 1st encore.

    Not sure about the 4th encore, but the 3rd was Schubert’s song “Gretchen am Spinnrade” (Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel).

    Reply
  • avatar

    That was the most amazing piano playing I have ever heard. Juja Wang sang out the melody no matter where it was: imbedded in exceptionally difficult passages, in the inner fingers, bringing it forth with gorgeous tone from the first note she sounded. I felt she must be imagining either visual images or dance-like movement—-in any case it made me see splashes of images and movement. I know nothing about Juja except that I went to her concert and I’m so glad I did. Never have I heard the tones, the lyricism and the technical brilliance that she played with. Brava! I’m glad we all had a chance to hear her. Thanks, UMS and Juja, and thanks for the great program, including the encores!

    Reply
  • avatar

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard the Spanish group played better. Someone said, “this is not technique; it’s nature!” Sounds right – either first or second nature. There’s nothing she can’t play. She does have a left hand that should scare off any potential mugger. If there was anyone waiting for wrong notes, he went home sad.

    The Beethoven was fine as well. The first movement Allegro was a bit more tempestuous than usual, and the last movement was on the fast side. But the point is it worked; it was totally plausible.

    She also knows how to play dreamy as witness every other Scriabin piece.

    I kept predicting she’d play a Schubert impromptu to show us that she had another side. Well, we did get Schubert via Liszt as the third or fourth encore. She’s very generous with encores.

    She’s young and talented as hell, and I hope in time she’ll turn to more substantial music. What I mean is: not the piano version of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice or that wild first encore which sounded vaguely Prokoffiesque to me.

    Many of these pieces, performed brilliantly this afternoon – I forgot to mention Ms. Wang’s striking crescendo – just don’t go very far in musical terms.

    If I were conspiratorially minded, I’d suggest that in future she lure people into the hall with thunderous Rachmaninoff and beautiful gowns and then play middle Beethoven and/or late Mozart and the Brahms sonata that was at one time on the program.

    Can’t keep all the encores straight: there was Gretchen am Spinnrad (Schubert), the aria from Thais (Massenent) Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Dukas) and that first sorta Prokoffisquy thing, maybe a Vision Fugitive. Anything esle?

    Reply
  • avatar

    Hi Everyone,
    The encores were (in order):
    Prokofiev: Toccata
    Dukas: “The Sorceror’s Apprentice” arranged by Yuja Wang
    Schubert: Gretchen am Spinnrade, arranged by Liszt
    Gluck: Melody, arranged by Rachmaninoff

    Reply
  • avatar

    Encores:

    Prokofiev, Toccata, op. 11

    Dukas, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, transcribed by ??, possibly Gyorgy Sandor (former U-M teacher) or Michael Gurt (local talent), both of whom I believe have made transcriptions

    Schubert-Liszt (I think), transcription of Gretchen am Spinnrade

    Gluck, excerpt from Dance of the Blessed Spirits from his opera Orfeo ed Euridice, transcribed by ?

    I liked the way Wang got to the encores immediately without making us beg for them.

    Reply
    • avatar

      The Gluck is commonly referred to as “Melody”. It was arranged by Rachmaninoff and is the “meldoy” from the B section of the ‘Dance of the Blessed Spirits’ or Elysian Fields music from “Orfeo ed Euridice.” The B section is the extended flute solo section…one of my desert island picks. A magical way to end a set of encores.

      Reply
      • avatar

        Just to let you know, the Gluck was actually arranged by Sgambati, although she made a few changes in the harmonies here and there.

        Reply
        • Interesting…I will defer to your knowledge on this matter. I am told that there are actually two arranged versions: one by Rachmaninoff and one by Sgambati. And that the one she played was the Rachmaninoff arrangement. But, again, I may have been given misinformation. I just read this explanation on a YouTube comment but I cannot substantiate its accuracy:

          “@itterottev I´ve listened to Rachmaninov version and it´s the same as Yuja’s. I also have the Sgambati score which I had already realized that has quite the same notes as this versions but indeed it´s a little bit different if you hear carefully and pay attention to the way she/he plays it in the video, so I guess they´ve done their own arrangement on Sgambati’s to focus on the melody since the right hand has to play accompaniment necesarily in the Sgambati version”
          gzalogg 5 months ago

          Reply
  • avatar

    I was amazed that a 24-year-old pianist could play with such musical maturity as well as amazing technique. I could have listened to her encores all night. She is a treasure.

    Reply
  • avatar

    How about a Hill Auditorium Manner Course? Manners 101!

    Reply
  • avatar

    Thought the arrangement of Sorcerer’s Apprentice was great fun to hear. Reminded me of hearing Horowitz at Hill in the past!

    Reply
    • avatar

      I heard Horowitz@ Hill also. Is Yja Wang Horowitz;s successor?- Could be! She’s amazing!

      Reply
      • avatar

        I think he played the Mephisto Waltz as an encore.
        There were several rows of SRO listeners in the back and a number of people were seated on the stage!
        So sad what is happening with dwindling audiences for classical music in the US. Hopefully the influx of new young artists like Ms Wang can help reverse this trend.

        Reply
        • Dear Charles and Michael –

          Glad to know of you memories of Mr. Horowitz. He gave fifteen separate performances for UMS between 1928-1980.

          While I can’t research them all today, I took a quick look at his last two recitals and here is what his encores were:

          RECITAL Oct 8, 1978
          Encores
          Sonata in A Major — Scarlatti
          “Serenade for the Doll” from The Children’s Corner Suite — Debussy
          Waltz in c-sharp minor — Chopin
          Etincelles (Sparks) — Moszkowski
          NOTE — the last work on the printed program was Liszt Mephisto Waltz

          RECITAL Nov 9, 1980
          Encores
          Traumerei — Schumann
          Liebesfreud — Kreisler/arr. Rachmaninoff
          Prelude in g minor, Op. 23, No. 5 — Rachmaninoff

          Reply
  • avatar

    Ms. Wang was sublime, though I’d have paid five times more to sit in a more intimate setting. Hill Auditorium seems just too huge for a solo piano recital. I sat on the main floor, and I wondered how the folks in the balcony were doing. I thought the two inane incidents of the cell phones ringing and the constant tubercular hacking were embarrassing though. If Ms. Wang had sat there silently until the cellular offenders were evicted from the auditorium, I would have been thrilled and I would have cheered her (and jeered them). I don’t know what to say about audience members who openly cough without any attempts to muffle the noise. I think there will always be people who are indifferent to the disturbance they make, and will act surprised and shocked when called on it. Like the woman sitting near us who drank from a plastic water bottle, which she insisted on noisily crinkling.

    Reply
  • avatar

    I simply loved watching that woman hit the keys with passion and power.What a joy !! Bravo !
    and maybe the ushers can catch those idiots that left their cells on…? or a SUPER USHER??

    Reply
  • avatar

    What a magnificent concert! Hats off to Don Morelock who sponsored it, and to those who helped identify the encores.

    Reply
  • What a gift, thank you to UMS for bringing this stunning talent to Ann Arbor. This was an illuminating performance, I expect and hope to see Yuja Wang in Ann Arbor many times in the coming years!

    Reply
  • avatar

    This comment was removed because it violated umsLOBBY participation guidelines.

    Reply
  • avatar

    One of the most remarkable piano recitals I’ve heard in over 50 years. I haven’t been so moved since my last Horowitz recital in 1980, which says a lot. And her quirky transcription of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice reminded me of Horowitz as well (and her infinite range of tone color). At the same time, her technique is the most natural I have seen of ANY pianist. This was my first concert in Michigan, and I couldn’t believe the number of cell phones. We clap between movements in California, but at least we manage to turn our cell phones off.

    Reply
  • From the opening note through the final encore, Miss Wang never failed to impress. Her passion and intensity flow through the music with incandescent brilliance. I too was very disappointed with the audience members that just could not allow one singe phrase of music to pass without being interrupted by talking, cell phones, water bottles, and of course, coughing. Please UMS, try to implement something that discourages those mindless people from ruining it for the rest of us. I paid to hear the artist, not them.

    Reply
  • avatar

    Absolutely outstanding!
    More than makes up for that John Malkovich piece of junk.

    Reply
  • avatar

    What an unforgettable performance! Thank you, Miss Wang! The four encores were a blessing.
    However, I had a person near me whose whistling nose-breathing would have drowned out a steamboat. Blow your nose, for goodness’ sake! I agree with many earlier posters that there were some exceptionally clueless people in the audience. Sick, coughing people are one thing, but cell phones blaring at full volume? UMS, please do something about this in future – even if it’s just another post-intermission announcement.

    Reply
  • avatar

    Excellent storyteller. I loved her Beethoven and Rachmaninov selection. There is something lacking, however, in the Debussy-Ravel-Albéniz triptych and the more philosophical Scriabin, that may only come after years of life experience with beings and places.

    Reply
  • avatar

    It was apparent she loved the Hall…and kept on playing…..a joy to enjoy….Whenever I see an ad for yuga Wang I know We will love the evening. Thankyou for bringing this lovely young artist to UMS>

    Reply
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