KVT at Vu Ngoc Linh’s piano recital

KVT at Vu Ngoc Linh’s piano recital

Posted on

Last Saturday night at the Opera House I attended a fine recital by 28 year old pianist Vu Ngoc Linh. At present Linh is studying his Master of Music degree in Australia after previous studies in Russia and America.

This was a demanding recital and could be a prelude to Linh’s future forays into the world of international music competitions as he attempts to engrave a reputation as a concert pianist. In his hometown he could have decided to play it safe with some hoary old chestnuts and garnered a lot of applause but he gave us a thoughtful and intelligent program of technically difficult pieces.

He began with Johann Sebastian Bach’s Suite in A minor BWV 818A, written for the harpsichord and he played it with the right touch so that the Steinway grand sounded amazingly like its harpsichord predecessor.

He followed this with a very competent and intelligent playing of Furraccio Busoni’s transcription of Bach’s Chaconne in D minor. It was worth a few bravos.

After interval we got two very good interpretations from Liszt’s Years of Pilgrimage Suites. These were from Book Two, composed after meditations on Italian cultural icons in Rome. Last November Italian pianist Gabrielle Carcano, gave us the Sposalizio, the first in the suite and Linh gave us the fifth (Petrach’s Sonnet 104) and the last (After Reading Dante).

The Dante fantasia is considered one of Liszt’s most formidable compositions and takes 18 minutes of intense concentration to perform. It is a tour de force in any pianist’s repertoire and Linh proved that he’s well on his way to excellence.

Linh separated the two with one of Liszt’s most popular compositions, the third of the Liebestraumes, that centers on German poet Freilgrath’s poem about mature love and which states: love as long as you can! The hour will come when you will stand at the grave and mourn. It’s another piece with a high degree of technical difficulty and Linh played it beautifully.

It was a brave and challenging recital and one that I was glad I decided to catch.

The TV channel’s young, roving cameraman should be severely scolded. There is absolutely no excuse for darting through the side curtains on the stage to grab a few gratuitous shots and, at the same time, disturbing the audience’s visual concentration. A few lessons on cultural etiquette are needed.

Not a reviewer, not a critic, “Kiếm Văn Tìm” is an interested, impartial and informed observer and connoisseur of the Hanoi art scene who offers highly opinionated remarks and is part of the long and venerable tradition of anonymous correspondents. Please add your thoughts in the comment field below.


Leave a Reply