<< -- 2 -- Lawrence Budmen HIGHLY PROMISING
A Doctoral Fellow at New York's Julliard School, pianist Mei-Ting Sun is a dynamic virtuoso and a born showman. Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 5 (Emperor) is one of the most daunting works in the keyboard literature. From the first monumental chords, it was clear that this young pianist was more than up to the challenge. He gave a performance that surpassed the Emperors of many veterans of the keyboard. Mei Ting Sun phrased eloquently and brought grandeur to Beethoven's heavenly strophes. His razor sharp technical facility and ability to sustain elongated musical paragraphs was always at the service of the music. The crystal like tones of the second theme were balm to jaded ears. Mei-Ting Sun obtained a striking effect by holding the soft pedal down on the last chord of the first movement. As the note faded away Willis brought in the orchestra to begin the second movement. The noble Adagio was given space and airiness. Exquisitely nuanced tonal shadings brought grace and poetry to the long breathed musical line. Willis beautifully dovetailed the dialogue between winds and piano with the soloist's phrasing. The soloist brought Viennese lilt and brio to the final Rondo. Willis's buoyant, modernist take on Beethoven's orchestral writing (à la Roger Norrington) enhanced an energetic, vibrant performance and a brilliant solo turn by a gifted young artist.
As an encore Mei-Ting Sun presented his own transcription of Art Tatum's classic Tiger Rag. His rapid fire runs and arpeggios dazzled the ear. Mei-Ting Sun is a sensitive musician and a great entertainer. He played up a storm in Tatum's sizzling jazz showpiece. The house really rocked and the enthusiastic crowd were on their feet cheering.
Copyright © 12 January 2006
Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA