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Here's her recent interview in The Guardian. The comments at the end are interesting too - kind of similar to what we get here on AA, e.g., shameless hussy type comments, or something like, if I'm listening to the Hammerklavier, I don't want to be staring at some woman's naked thighs - LOL! So. . . uh. . . what's wrong with looking at something else? Does something compel you to stare and you can't resist it? ;-)
Edits: 04/10/17Follow Ups:
She's a good pianist, but I don't think she's that good..... I think had she not been so attractive, I think she would have remained obscure.
The few works I've heard both Yuja Wang and Ayako Uehara play (notably Rachmaninoff's Paganini Rhapsody and Tchaikovsky's First Concerto), there was no comparison, Uehara was far-and-above better..... (Uehara's Tchaik Concerto One is one of the best I've heard.) But Ayako doesn't have the "looks" that Yuja has.
But it seems the people of the world have spoken, and they prefer Yuja! So do I. Nothing to do with looks - and, as everybody around here knows, I never let a performer's looks influence my musical judgement! ;-)
Ayako's problem is she hasn't expanded the repertoire..... So instead of playing music she never performed before she's playing in front of orchestras (with the same music) she's never performed with before.
I believe Ayako had a huge opportunity to become more popular, but for some reason had cold feet performing outside of Asia. I have a feeling she feared the tough critics in Europe.
Too bad..... Aside from a Scriabin piece, just about everything I've heard Ayako perform was amongst the best I've heard..... Even the Rachmaninoff Prelude Op 23-2 (bootleg), I don't think I've heard better..... (The one aspect about Ayako which is off the charts is sheer explosiveness from the instrument. This is why I once called her "Herwitz".)
The one time I heard Liberace play Chopin's A-Flat Major Polonaise Op. 53 "straight" (not the "show" version he usually plays), it was up there with the best..... Not quite Horowitz or Earl Wild, but pretty close.
But that repertoire (Chopin, Liszt, etc) was still nowhere near the Hammerklavier.
I listened to Yuja's "Hammerklavier"..... The way this performance was hyped up here, I was expecting something mindblowing like Ayako Uehara's Liszt "Mephisto Waltz".............
Then chose a random performance of Beethoven's "Hammerklavier"..... Richter's in this case..... Yuja's performance is nice, but not in the same league as Richter's......
...of shamelessly exhibitionist pianists
there is no point in answering.
If she plays ugly music like some of the Prokofiev sonatas does she dress ugly?
So if she plays Philip Glass, does she dress minimally? (I mean, even more minimally than she usually does?)
BTW, which Prokofiev sonatas are ugly? ;-)
Some aren't favorites, but I don't recall any being 'ugly'.
To be clear when I say ugly I don't mean bad. But for example if you compare the last movement of sonata #6 with piano music of debussey I would call the prokofiev ugly. Was trying to make a joke and you guys make an issue out of it. Really?
If you had said 'like some (both) of the Shostakovich sonatas', I doubt Chris would have questioned it. ;-)
. . . although I have to say that my reaction to Shostakovitch's music is that his works are not really ugly, but, too often, cheesy. ;-)
She's a wonderful pianist. Listen to he Barber CD. The Excursions are really lovely.
Here is my favorite female pianist
It's been downhill ever since! ;-)
(recorded before the influence of DB!)
There's been some Google Groups discussion about Yuja's interview, and, similarly to one of the posters there, I have to ask myself: if I'm listening to the Hammerklavier, and I have the forced choice between looking at Yuja's naked thigh or Daniel Beerbelly's entire physique, which would I find more inspiring (in keeping with the music of course!)? Hmm. . . not too difficult a choice - at least for me! ;-)
Her nudity was not a tiresome marketing ploy (as with some of your babes), but part of (some of) her conceptual art performances. And unlike Yoko Ono, who imo was a legitimate conceptual artist but not much of a musician and who had the bad judgment to make music albums, Charlotte Moorman actually was a musician, and a very good one who studied at Juilliard. I'm not a big fan, but she's ahead of some of your babes with their mediocre CDs of piano standards, for sure.
What are laughable are Yuja Wang's comments in the inane article you cited. She does seem to have a sense of humor, but her silly comments there were hardly worthy of being reported to the world.
OK, I think I get that one, Daniel Barenboim. If not, well, yet another gaffe, feel free to make fun of me.
I had an old Sine Qua Non LP of the Hammerklavier recorded by Danny Boy when he was in his early 20s. It sucked. But many years later, I found the original Command Classics LP in the bins. The sound quality was so much better you could actually hear what the pianist was trying to do. A very good Hammerklavier, it turns out. But still far from one of the greatest renditions of all time, imvho. There is just too much tough competition. And I feel about the same about Yuja's, though that is very good too.
Barenboim the pianist on the whole is not one of my very top faves. To me, Barenboim the conductor is more successful.
. . . I even more agree that sound quality can influence our perceptions of performances to a surprising degree - sometimes, even decisively - as your story about the Sine Qua Non LP vs. the original Command issue illustrates. So I guess my question is, your experience of Yuja's performance - was that just from uTube or some other low-rez source?
You asked whom I would rather SEE perform the Hammerklavier, not hear. Surely high or low rez makes no difference, I'd rather see Yuja in any rez.
Senioritis, Chris. ;-)
Maybe during a Jerry Lee Lewis Medley.
Since I don't "get" the Hammerklavier, and probably, even after many tries, I would probably rather see Yuja since she is better looking, and it would occupy my time. :)
"If people don't want to come, nothing will stop them" - Sol Hurok
posting a link to an interview with one of the top classical musicians in the world today? Heck Chris didn't even use the B word.
"If people don't want to come, nothing will stop them" - Sol Hurok
it touches on a subject that has been recently discussed here on this forum. I don't see anything wrong with Chris posting it. have you read it? Any thoughts on what Yuja said? Any thoughts on the remarks Chris pointed out?
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