Piano concert electric
Responding to the prodigious energy of four young, virtuosic pianists, the Charleston Concert Association crowd at Gaillard Auditorium on Thursday night exploded with wild applause and a standing ovation.
Four medalists in recent Van Cliburn International Piano Competitions, awarded quadrennially, played two pianos, four hands and two pianos, eight hands, creating the lush, joyous sounds of a full orchestra in music primarily from the best-loved Romantic composers.
2009 Gold Medalist Haochen Zhang, the youngest pianist in the competition, joined Jose Feghali, Stanislav Ioudenitch and Joyce Yang in ever-changing combinations to execute with incredible finesse Liszt's "Rakoczy March," Schubert's "Fantasy in F minor," two Rachmaninoff pieces, the waltz from Gonoud's "Faust" and a slurry of Brahms' Hungarian Dances.
Throw in Lutoslawski's "Variations on a Theme by Paganini" and the inimitable Sousa, and you can easily imagine the electricity in the hall.
Rinsky-Korsakov's madcap-speed "Flight of the Bumblebee" suffered from lack of precise ensemble playing, and youthful enthusiasm can sometimes lead to lustiness, but on this chilly winter night, that's exactly what we needed.