It’s the Yuja vs Khatia duel

It’s the Yuja vs Khatia duel


norman lebrecht

November 30, 2020

One keeps her head still, perfectly composed.

The other…. well, watch.

This was nine years ago. I guess they’d do it differently now, if at all.



  • Realy too eavy! the keyboards don’t deserve this treatment pfffffff

  • V.Lind says:

    I see girls in Master classes, aged sometimes under 18, with the sort of mannerisms KB is demonstrating. Can’t speak for her — nor, indeed, for them — but it always strikes me in young students as very affected.

    I blame teachers, who do not rein in this sort of thing early.

    • Greg Bottini says:

      It’s that thing among young musicians that everyone wants to be a rock star.
      Khatia, who is a fine musician, should watch some vids of Rubinstein and see how a master comported himself onstage.
      And the violinist Joshua Bell, also a fine musician, would be even finer if he didn’t waste so much energy swinging and swaying. Why didn’t HIS teacher, Josef Gingold, just tell him to stand still and play? JB should watch some Milstein vids…

  • Thomas Dawkins says:

    If they play it like that, they can do whatever they want with their heads. Like one in mind and body.

  • Squagmogleur says:

    Probably not at all. Physical distancing! Unless they use the two piano version, if there is one.

  • Jean says:

    I want to know the name of the shampoo Khatia is using

  • Nijinsky says:

    I still think Steinway pianos sound like an empty oil drum. No matter HOW immune people are to such a sound, or that it’s customary. All the resonant schwung, or Brahms don’t change ma mind….

    Put a steam whistle in there somewhere and say the latest shipment of crude is in….

    and DREAM of riches….. I can smell it already…

    Um, and no comment on the pianist talents….

    • Nijinsky says:

      There’s also more than this Brahms and Rachmaninoff stuff: concertos, explosives and varnish…(and self pampering).. and high gloss celebrity….

      Try some Fauré for Christ’s sake…..

      If I have to hear anymore of this “high art” and or “chase scenes.”

      Thank God one can flip the switch now adays. I don’t usually appreciate technology to such a degree.

    • Nijinsky says:

      By the way this isn’t “Hungarian” at all, it’s more like the cheap tourist attraction souvenirs you find all over the place; and all of the varnish in the world by Mr. Brahms isn’t making it Hungarian.

  • mel says:

    Now imagine if you had Truls Mørk turning the music…

  • yujafan says:

    three beautiful ladies on stage and music – what’s not to enjoy?

  • Patrick says:

    Yuja is quite obviously the better, classier pianist, whilst Khatia, being talented and can indeed play, is from the modern school of style over substance!

  • Zvi says:

    Oh come on, people are coming to see Yuja for her tiny dresses and Khatia for her waving her hair.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      That may be true for those who only come to see a concert. For those who come to listen, there is plenty to enjoy in Yuja Wang’s art.

  • David says:

    Seems like a lot of ado for not much. Neither of these performers is moving a distracting amount. I think their playing is lovely and we should get past the fact that they are beautiful women.

    I’d like to hear them play a bunch more of this Brahms.

  • M McAlpine says:

    Frankly I cannot see what people are going on about. All I saw was two very attractive and talented young ladies making music together very well. What’s all this about the head? Couldn’t see anything unusual. But thanks for posting this. Gives people like me something to enjoy. And the musical miseries something to complain about!

    • esfir ross says:

      This rendition’ll go well in circus. Two show girls play Brahms. I suggest to listen to Lebeque sisters play this waltz. Exquisite.

      • M2N2K says:

        This is not a “waltz”, but a Hungarian Dance. And the last name of the piano duo sisters who have been performing together for nearly half of a century now is not “Lebeque”, but Labeque – Katia and Marielle.

  • M McAlpine says:

    Thanks! You make my point well!

  • M2N2K says:

    Nothing wrong with a moderate amount of rubato in this kind of music, but both of these pianists – KB especially shamelessly so, but even the usually brilliant YW is doing this a little bit here – are really butchering the rhythm of the main tune by playing triplets or very close to that where dotted figures should be.

  • Alexander T says:

    What a crude and insensitive performance.