While other pianists hold back and don’t let their emotions run wild, Ching-Yun Hu casts reservations to the wind and pounces on the keys as if a lion devouring prey. It’s quite a sight to behold!
Ching-Yun’s performance at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance 2019 Keyboard Festival was boldly crafted and executed. Her style is more raw and unleashed than many of her contemporaries.
While many critique the likes of Lang Lang and Yuja Wang for just technical prowess but lacking true musicality, Ching-Yun Hu embodies consummate musicianship where the artist is in service to the score. Yet, this doesn’t mean the performance is boring, but rather the contrary. Ms. Hu yanks out the most vivid colors and nuances, and leans into the thick harmonies with calculated energy.
Her interpretation of Chopin’s Barcarolle, Op. 60, was nothing but sublime. Based on the lilting rhythm and mood, it features a sweeping romantic and slightly wistful aura. This is one of Chopin's last major compositions, and is often considered to be one of his most demanding. Ching-Yun took on the challenge with ease and exuberant passion.
Similarly, the second movement of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 36 “Non allegro-Lento” was some of the best playing I’ve heard of this work in a long time. This is the second movement of the sonata, as it references material from the first movement, which is the first instance of cyclic unity in the sonata. In this portion, the bell texture from the first movement is reestablished, which uses the left hand to imitate bells with chromatic descending.
The concert of French and Russian masterworks was live-streamed to thousands around the world and I hope many were as emotionally moved as I was. Watch the full concert in this video below.