August 15, 2011 – 3:54 pm

Wang Yuja creates a stir with her little dress. Her fingers create a rhapsody.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

with the Boston Symphony Orchestra
(Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos conducting)
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini [1934]
Lenox 2011 [no label, 1CD]

Live at the Koussevitzky Music Shed at Tanglewood, Lenox, MA; August 5, 2011 broadcast live on WCRB-FM Boston/National Public Radio. Ex- FM mono.

Yuja Wang, or Wang Yuja as she would be known in China, is a 24-year-old pianist from the famous Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China. She and Lang Lang share the same teacher when they left for America and studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. But not the same dress sense.

Her lack of height probably prompted the gifted youngster to strut on stage at the Hollywood Bowl in early August 2011 in a shocking mini-dress with skyscraper pumps. That started classical music reviewers to write commentaries on the appropriateness of her dressing. Influenced by Lady Gaga?

The LA Times critic Mark Swed wrote, “Her dress Tuesday was so short and tight, that had there been any less of it, the Bowl might have been forced to restrict admission to any music lover under 18 not accompanied by an adult.”

Whatever your thoughts about her dressing, her Rachmaninoff’s are worthy. While she played Rachmaninoff’s Third piano concerto at the Bowl, here she attempts his Rhapsody On A Theme of Paganini. Rock fans will probably recognise this from the 18th variation onwards (roughly at the 14:33 mark) when Paganini’s theme is played “upside down” and produces an “awesome” melody.

The Spanish conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra tonight is Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos.

This recording was made in mono. According to taper Zootype, “mono tuning was selected for much reduced FM hiss.” Thanks for sharing. The lossless version and complete broadcast (Wang Yuja only plays on the Rachmaninoff) can be found at Dime.

Here is another “China” to watch.
- Professor Red

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (sample rate 224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. radio intro 0:26 (719k)
Track 02a
. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini in A minor, Opus 43 - Part A (19.0MB)
Track 02b
. Sergei Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini in A minor, Opus 43 - Part B (18.9MB)
with Wang Yuja (piano) in one movement as follows:
Introduction: Allegro vivace
Variation 01 (Precedente)
Tema: L’istesso tempo
Variation 02: L’istesso tempo
Variation 03: L’istesso tempo
Variation 04: Più vivo
Variation 05: Tempo precedente
Variation 06: L’istesso tempo
Variation 07: Meno mosso, a tempo moderato
Variation 08: Tempo I
Variation 09: L’istesso tempo
Variation 10: L’istesso tempo
Variation 11: Moderato
Variation 12: Tempo di minuetto (D minor)
Variation 13: Allegro (D minor)
Variation 14: L’istesso tempo (F major)
Variation 15: Più vivo scherzando (F major)
Variation 16: Allegretto (B flat minor)
Variation 17: Allegretto (B flat minor)
Variation 18: Andante cantabile (D flat major)
Variation 19: A tempo vivace
Variation 20: Un poco più vivo
Variation 21: Un poco più vivo
Variation 22: Un poco più vivo (Alla breve)
Variation 23: L’istesso tempo
Variation 24: A tempo un poco meno mosso

Track 03. radio outro 2:02 (3.2MB)
Track 03
. radio outro 2:02 (alternative link)

Get a copy of Wang Yuja’s latest album Transformation (2010). On this album, she plays Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Paganini, yet another technically difficult piece to play. Buy it here.

  1. 4 Responses to “CHINA GIRL”

  2. WOW!

    By TDC on Aug 15, 2011

  3. Thanks again for all the hard work involved in making these many excellent recordings available to all!

    By Michael on Aug 16, 2011

  4. What is shocking about her dress? How can anyone be offended by this…

    By Walter on Sep 2, 2011

  5. loverly

    By Paul on Mar 26, 2014

Post a Comment