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David Denton
David's Review Corner, October 2013

Having reached volume 37 of the complete solo piano music of Franz Liszt, there still remains many finger-knotting pieces for the award-winning Jue Wang to enjoy. Born and educated in China, his career has been largely built in Europe and in the United States where he now lives and continues his studies. Though on the surface the programme looks familiar, both the Tre Sonetti and the Venezia e Napoli existed in earlier forms before their eventual appearance in the Annees de pelerinage, and they are here performed in their original version. In the case of the Italian scenes these are markedly different. In length and content they are substantial, the disc completed by seven shorter pieces that could be regarded as shavings from the master craftsman’s bench. It seems a characteristic of Chinese trained pianists that they are particularly drawn to music of a filigree nature, and there is ample here for Jue Wang to delight in, his nimble fingers floating over the keys in cascades of notes. He shapes phrases very well, tempos tending towards the spacious, and when he has the time, a little holiday in Italy will help him feel the mood of Liszt’s recollection of his time there. I know I am locked in a time warp of yesteryear, but much of the disc sends me back to Segio Fiorentino, where spine-tingling risks took us to the ultimate point of human virtuosity. © 2013 David’s Review Corner

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