Saturday, May 30, 2009

Andrea Lam (chamber music)

The Takacs players were audibly fatigued as they started off the last performance of the day. No wonder; they start chamber rehearsals at 9:30 in the morning and don't finish up until the last performance ends, around 10:45 p.m. This explains the low-energy start to the Dvorak quintet with Andrea Lam. Yet the Australian looked fresher than anybody else on stage, or indeed anyone left in the audience. So she wound up carrying the string players, and everybody powered through it. She steadied the Takacs players with her rhythm, and twinkled in the upper register. (She's on the right instrument, playing one of the brighter New York Steinways available to the contestants as opposed to the mellower Hamburg Steinway.) She was too loud a few times, but she brought the piece home safely, and the audience recognized her achievement, giving her a lengthy ovation. Giddy like a schoolgirl, she gestured toward the string players during the applause and reminded me that with a few exceptions (Rupert Murdoch, Russell Crowe), Australians are pretty cool. Hope this performance advances her cause. I'd like to see her in the final.

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