Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Yang love

A schoolgirl's giddiness--that best described my excitement before I hied off with my favorite concert-going companion, kid sister Suzy, to the Ayala Museum. Adding to the sense of anticipation last Saturday was it would be our first time to hear Claudia Yang, billed as Malaysia's premier pianist in the Manila Chamber Orchestra (MCO) Foundation's Great Performances Series.

We weren't disappointed. Again we felt the emotions evoked by the four Chopin ballades and 10 Rachmaninoff preludes in the youthful-looking Yang's playing: haunted longing, regret, resignation, awe at the splendor of marches with a martial beat.

With a bit of stealth, I captured some images of her at play, yes, that's right, at play with a gleaming toy, a Kawaii grand. It was only upon closer examination today that I noticed  there was an appreciative black insect flying behind the pianist during her performance.

Of her two encores, the last (her combination of the traditional Chinese "Jasmine Flower" and the Puccini operatic aria "Nessum Dorma" from Turandot) left us with a sense that our Saturday evening was another triumph of the spirit. So evocative was the music that Yang promised we might end up sleepless. Well, we almost did.

Warming up
Paul Badura-Skoda, Yang's piano professor, once said, "We need emotion, and we need something which lifts us from everyday life. We would be much poorer if we had not real music."
Pardon the pun, but one of God's small creatures seems "beedazzled" (behind Yang) by the music.
Facetime with admirers after the concert    Photos by Babeth Lolarga  
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