Age 9. What a wonderful year. Learning multiplication. Realizing that crayons aren’t edible. Being a premiere Chopin interpreter… Wait, what?
While child prodigies aren’t anything new, Serena Wang is different. There’s no showoff style or prancing of the fingers. No sign of even mild amusement of being good. Wang is legitimately a mature Chopin interpreter, not far off from the likes of Artur Rubinstein at their formative stages in performance. Look at 1:15 in and you’ll notice the color and tightly controlled but incredible subtly Wang’s hands posses. To say its impressive is an understatement. Equally astounding is how well rounded she comes off on her debut (we think?) album for Channel Classics – Dances of the Dolls. Wu gently touches Mozart and Shostakovich with precision timing and rich tones of passive naivety, that even given her prodigy status, its sometimes hard to forget SHE’S ONLY 9.
Removing the age factor, Wang’s debut is pleasurable. There’s a warmth to her speed and the repertoire selected fits her skill level just right. That’s not to say there’s an ease factor here, because clearly she’s performing at very high plateau expectations. The 9 year old angle is not that impressive by today’s mass media standards, but the music speaks for itself. On a path that’s right on the level of some today’s finer young musicians such as Yuja Wang or budding Canadian Jan Lisiecki, Wamg is no wonder-child fad.
Dances of the Dolls is available from Channel Classics Records.This entry was posted in General and tagged channel classics, chopin, piano, serena wu on .
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