Weekend watch: Yuja goes boogie on Mozart’s Turk

Weekend watch: Yuja goes boogie on Mozart’s Turk


norman lebrecht

January 07, 2017


  • Geoff Cox says:

    Tremendous!!! This year Yuja will give a recital at the RFH on Tuesday April 11, play Tchaikovsky No.1 on 11 May at the RFH and on June 8 at the Barbican will play Brahms No.2.

    • Sue says:

      Absolutely fabulous!! What a talent this gorgeous woman is; I’ve seen her in the Wiener Konzerthaus. It’s particularly wonderful for classical music to have a glamour and phenomenal virtuosity – especially from an Asian musician. Bravo!!

  • Selpak says:

    Fazil Say’s transcription

  • Cyril Blair says:

    I adore her. I love the way when she bows at the beginning it’s so off center. If there were a line going through her body it would be about 10 degrees from vertical.

  • Francis says:


    ‘oooh how cool! It’s Mozart and it’s Jazzy and it’s fast! durp-dee-durp!’

    It’s the ‘carnival of venice’ over and over and over and oh dear, it’s got jazzier now!

    The fact that most idiots who love this shite (including the person who posted this on youtube, as seen in the title) are struggling to understand that this is an actual piece, written down by Volodos and not Fazil’s or Yuja’s improvisations on a theme by Mozart,
    says everything you need to know to understand which titans of the intellectual world make these charlatans famous.

    • Adam says:

      Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to enlighten us.

    • Alistair Hinton says:

      Oh, lighten up, for heaven’s sake! This is just a piece of fun! I’m sure that this is what Volodos intended it to be. Apart from the obvious importance of crediting people correctly with what they have, rather than what they haven’t, done and getting the facts straight, why would it really matter in principle whether it was an improvisation rather than a written down transcription? Of the many pianists who have doe this kind of thing, the most notable was arguably Cziffra, who certainly didn’t write down all of his. It can be done on a much more serious level, too, hence the best of Liszt’s operatic fantasies, not to mention the four paraphrases on waltzes by Johann Strauss II to which Godowsky gave the elevated title “Symphonic Metamorphoses”.

      Yuja has treated this piece as what it deserves to be (just as she does the Cziffra Tritsch-Tratsch Polka transcription, for example); she’s hardly trying to contend that it should be listened to as though it were the Goldberg’s, the Hammerklavier or Reger’s Variations and Fugue on a theme of Bach! It was obviously played as an encore (though I do not know to what), just so that she, the orchestra and the audience could let their respective hair down, so keep yours on, please!

      • Francis says:

        my comment went way over your head,
        but that’s to be expected if you truly believe what you just wrote.

        i was commenting on,
        -the absolutely worthless masturbatory quality that the piece has,
        (especially inappropriate after playing Prokofiev’s 2nd concerto!)
        -the absolute idiots who enjoy it and
        -the sad reality that this is what impresses today.

        but mostly, my comment was about how most people who loooved it so much,
        lack even the most basic of knowledge to actually matter and nobody should try to impress those people in any way.
        anyone jumping for joy from this shite would be equally happy to clap their paws for the Radetzky.

        in other words, morons.
        so, even if millions of morons clapped and praised this, it doesn’t matter.
        it’s shite.

        • John says:

          As one of the idiots who enjoyed it, let me say that the only shite here can be found in your humorless comments.

    • Freddynyc says:

      Wow bitter much….? ; p

      • Francis says:

        @Adam, you’re welcome.

        @Freddy, not at all. Just not an idiot who appreciates this kind of empty nonsense.

        • me! says:

          so you’re a different kind of idiot, one who tries to make himself feel big to counter feeling alienated — music is subjective and Yuja is greatly talented, at multiple kinds of music. She enjoys herself and many others enjoy her change of pace encores. Your trying to impose rules on what is acceptable or intelligent in joyful music is rigid and causing you inordinate emotional and practical social problems. Review it and lighten up.

  • Reece Jennings says:

    Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to see such genius.

  • Peggy Sweeney says:

    That’s Noah Bendix-Balgley looking on in amazement so it’s either the Berlin Phil now or the Pittsburgh several years ago.

    • Max Grimm says:

      The video is of the encore Yuja Wang played after her Berliner Philharmoniker debut, playing Prokofiev’s 2nd piano concerto under Paavo Järvi in May 2015.

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    Fun piece played with tremendous facility and ease by Yuja. Next step for Mr. Volodos might be to turn it into a brilliant, colorful encore for piano and orchestra. Without being mentioned in the program, as a surprise for the audience.

  • frank says:

    Off with her head; she is killing the time.

  • Bruce says:

    Speaking of it’s-not-what-you-thought encores, I love it when a violinist uses the Ysaye “Obsession” sonata. The audience thinks they’re going to hear the Bach E major Preludio and gives that gratified sigh of recognition; then they end up getting the Dies Irae instead 😀

    • M2N2K says:

      Agreed: that is exactly what I did at the end of my “all-Bach” recital a few years ago. But unfortunately I have never seen anyone else do that.

  • PVER says:

    Thanks for sharing.