'... these performances are as compelling as they are touching.'
a recital by the young Texan pianist Roger Wright -
by JOHN BELL YOUNG
Picture this: A tall, charismatic and immensely gifted young Texan pianist
creates a furor at an international piano competition and becomes the darling
of the media and the public. The fans go wild, the press reports his every
move and a major network offers him a substantial recording contract. Van
Cliburn, you say? Well, no. Not this time.
Now the pianist is Roger Wright, a 26 year old from Houston who turned
heads recently in Australia when he was denied entry to the final round
of the prestigious Sydney International Piano Competition. Already the popular
favorite, Wright endeared himself to millions, thanks to the nightly worldwide
broadcasts of the Australian Broadcasting Company. So infuriated were his
many fans by the jury's decision not to award him first prize that
they stormed the electronic barricades demanding an explanation, if not
a recount. In response to this unprecedented outpouring of support, the
ABC, the competition's principal sponsor, awarded Wright a recording
debut ordinarily reserved for the Gold Medal winner.
The result is 'Piano Masterpieces', a riveting recital of music by Schumann,
Chopin, Debussy, Haydn and Rachmaninoff, as well as several engaging works
by contemporary composers Peter Sculthorpe, Lowell Liebermann and another
Texan, Elisenda Fabregas. Wright is indeed a phenomenal pianist, but also
a profoundly insightful and imaginative artist who is fully aware that along
with a virtuoso technique goes an awesome responsibility: making music.
Indeed, what concerns him are not just the notes, nor how fast or slowly
he can play them, but what goes on in between them.
Copyright © 10 March 2001
John Bell Young, Tampa, Florida, USA
CD INFORMATION - ABC CLASSICS 461657-2
PURCHASE FROM ROGER WRIGHT'S WEBSITE
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