Those who braved the snow to attend Alnwick Music Society’s concert at The Playhouse were treated to an evening of superb music making by UK-based pianist Chiyan Wong.
Chiyan started with Ferrucio Busoni’s arrangement of Bach’s Goldberg Variations in a wonderful fresh performance that felt newly minted.
Busoni’s arrangement is intended to exploit the powerful sonority and range of the modern concert grand and this outstanding performance certainly achieved that ,while still preserving the spirit of Bach’s timeless original. Next, Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Six Bagatelles, opus 126, provided an interesting contrast of style. These are the finest of Beethoven’s bagatelles, heard to their best advantage.
More Busoni followed with his Sonatina Seconda, conceived as a study for the opera Doktor Faust. Chiyan made the most of this dark, turbulent music, conjuring up a diabolical scene of mystery and sorcery.
The music of Franz Liszt is associated with virtuosity and his Reminiscences de Don Juan provided Chiyan with another opportunity to demonstrate his exceptional talents. This was a powerful and dramatic performance, with the piano achieving orchestral-scale sounds that rang through the Playhouse.
It is a great pity that this wonderful concert did not have a larger attendance, but those of us present felt privileged to have heard this remarkable young man.