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Yuja Wang & the BSO Review (26.04.2008)

Yuja Wang & the BSO’s performance program of Yardumian, Prokofiev and Berlioz was hands down the best performance I’ve seen this season, equaling if not surpassing opening weekend, and maintaining consistently high-quality performance throughout.

The first piece was Yardumian’s Armenian Suite. Immediately apparent was French guest-conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier’s conducting style. Clearly an aggressive micro-manager, Tortelier cues most if not all entrances and is direct and deliberate with how he wants each passage styled. While his style exerts a little more aggressive control than I prefer, there is no arguing with the product. Tortelier drew a spectacular performance from the BSO. His style enabled lots of small touches like accentuating dynamic contrasts, particularly with his direct, expressive conducting. Armenian Suite was pulled off with great vitality and a lush sound, but the piece is largely uninteresting, conjuring some vaguely ethnic imagery through brass fanfares.

From the beginning of Prokofiev’s piano concerto, it was clear that Armenian Suite was only the appetizer for the rest of the program. Read the rest…