Passion at the Piano: Joyce Yang at Duke Performances

Joyce Yang. Her playing is equally showy. Photo: Larry Ford.

Joyce Yang. Her playing is equally showy. Photo: Larry Ford.

These sections taken from my review published 1/21/13 in the online journal CVNC.

Duke Performances began the spring half of its recital series in Reynolds Theater with the surprising young Korean-born pianist Joyce Yang. If you think of “piano recital” as a not-so-exciting form of musical concert, Ms. Yang’s performance would disabuse you of this pallid notion. Yang’s passionate engagement with the music rises at times to erotic display…..

The evening opened with Beethoven’s sparkling Sonata No. 18 in E-flat, Op. 31, No. 3, “The Hunt.” I don’t think I’d heard it in its entirety since I was a child and the old Artur Schnabel recording was in heavy rotation at my parents’ house. Yang’s interpretation, while forceful and crisp, bubbles with delight as the musical motifs chase each other up and down the keyboard. After frolicking all over the countryside, she took a deep breath, and blistered the ivory on the final movement, presto con fuoco….

Joyce Yang. Photo: Oh Seuk Hoon.

Joyce Yang. Photo: Oh Seuk Hoon.


One response

  1. Oh, how fun…..your husband was just here, on his way to the Burwell School, and he kindly helped me get on board the Five Points Star Express. The man definitely missed his calling ( or maybe the times simply missed him) when he didn’t become a Pullman porter.

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