Yuja credits her composer

Yuja credits her composer


norman lebrecht

May 25, 2023

At the Barbican last night, Yuja Wang led the applause for Magnus Lindberg whose third concerto she had just performed.

Tony Sanderson reports:

Yuja Wang emerged from a six week hiatus on social media with a Facebook invite to us all to attend her performance of the UK premiere of Marcus Linberg’s third piano concerto. There were some seats available because despite the original concert being a sell-out, strike action occasioned a revised date, which some concert-goers couldn’t make.

On a first hearing the concerto had many grand and many tender moments for the orchestra contrasted with many virtuosic moments for the soloist. Yuja Wang had two candenzas, one lengthy one in the first movement and a second in the second movement. In the same vein the first two movements seemed to have more creative energy than the third although it built to a dramatic conclusion. The composer says that he sees the work as three concertos. Yuja Wang seemed to play effortlessly and the interaction between conductor and soloist was first-rate. The harmony of pianist, conductor and composer was there for all to see.


    • Hilary says:

      Pure kitsch ( I listened from beginning to end ).
      Of 21st Century 3rd piano concertos I prefer the ones by Volans and Sōrensen .
      With that said , great YWang is supporting works by living composers .

  • Peter San Diego says:

    Someone (either the typist or Mr Sanderson) got the composer’s given name wrong: it’s Magnus, not Marcus…

  • Paul Sekhri says:

    She is a remarkable pianist. And such a class act.

  • Andreas C. says:

    The Lindberg 3rd shares a problem with similar neo-Romantic 21st century concerti: the orchestration is lush and in places surpasses its models like early Stravinsky, Ravel and Strauss and the solo parts are flashy and virtuosic, but their composers always seem to hesitate at the point where a real late-Romantic concerto would break into a Big Tune that the audience can hum on their way home, and the result ends up being vacuous, inconsequential note-spinning.

    • Adista says:

      True. I listened to the whole thing and 10 minutes later couldn’t remember anything about it.

      • Andreas C. says:

        In defense of Lindberg, the fact that the concerto is bookended with bell-like statements of B-A-C-H is quite memorable to me, it’s just that it’s difficult to say what exactly he tries to convey by them.

        Out of Lindberg’s concerti, the one for clarinet seems to get most repeat performances, and maybe not coincidentally it starts off with a very hummable pentatonic motto theme.

  • Moneva says:

    It’s a cadenza… not a “can-denza”. It is unrelated to any kind of can!
    Misspelling gives me hives…

  • Max Raimi says:

    I’ve played and and admired Mr. Lindberg’s music, and very much enjoyed conversing with him. That said, if Ms Wang ate a tuna salad sandwich, it would be breathlessly reported here, complete with a photo of her in a tight short skirt.

  • Jonathan Z says:

    I was at the Brighton performance by the same forces last night. Walking off after taking a bow, Yuja tripped over her vertiginous heels and was saved from a bad fall by one of the first violins. Her ankle seemed to be giving her trouble after that but she still played two encores, the Katsaris transcription of Badinerie and one which I couldn’t identify.

    • Karin Becker says:

      It’s a pity she was caught. I would have liked to have seen (on video) that this arrogant “queen of the piano”, who believes she is allowed to indulge in all kinds of tastelessness, falls off her high-heel cothurn.

  • Barbara F Oxholm says:

    Can’t wait to hear it!