But I could certainly be wrong. It's possible, perhaps even likely, that Wang, Lang, and Li hear things in nineteenth-century European art music which this middle-aged American does not. After all, it's happened before when musical cultures meet. Some critics have said Bernstein's Mahler is just as insensitive as Wang's Chopin, or that the Rolling Stones' Muddy Waters is just as inauthentic as Wang's Brahms. But most listeners disagree, swept away by stunning virtuosity, extraordinary expressivity, and perhaps even a sensitivity to depths which critics miss.
As always, the only way to know is to go--in this case, to Hill Auditorium on Sunday, October 9, to hear Yuja Wang for yourself.
[Originally published in October, 2011.]