11/17/2012 Review by John Bridges

ASHEVILLE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

MASTERWORKS 3 • RACHMANINOFF’S PAGANINI VARIATIONS

 

Daniel Meyer, conductor 

Joyce Yang, piano

Saturday, November 17, 2012 • 8:00 pm
Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
Asheville, North Carolina 

– Review –

So spectacular were the pianistic accomplishments of Joyce Yang’s rendition of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op.43 that she eclipsed the rest of the performances last Saturday evening at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium under the direction of Conductor Daniel Meyer. Her stunning technical accomplishments combined with her ability to present such musical imagination kept the audience fixed on every aspect of her program. The artist never let-up the rhythmic pattern that haunts the entire work even when a quotation from “Dies Irae” was introduced. Indeed, Ms Yang’s brilliant performance under Conductor Meyer’s strong direction turned the work into a musical drama that brought the large audience to its feet with cries of youthful abandon. The continuous applause led to an encore: “My Joy” by Frédéric Chopin as transcribed by Franz Liszt.

The concert began with the charm of Georges Bizet’s “L’Arlesienne Suite No. 1“. The references to folk dances were well-taken as Meyer continually applied a light atmosphere to the piece.

The concluding work was Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 4 in B-flat major, Op. 60”. The Symphony’s exuberance throughout provided a welcomed relief to the sometimes somber melodies leading to a finish in a blaze of rhythmic invention.

by John Bridges

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