Monday, May 25, 2009

Andrea Lam

I take special note of Andrea Lam's name because her surname is a variant of my own last name, Lin. She's Australian, and she starts with a terrific account of Schumann's Fantaisiestucke ("Fantasy Pieces"), playing with limpid beauty in the lyrical pieces (Nos. 1 and 3), tinging the tempestuous pieces with some genuine menace (Nos. 2 and 5), and swinging with great rhythmic verve in the triumphal numbers (Nos. 6 and 8).

She follows those with two selections from Granados' Goyescas, and though there's a high-profile smudge in "Los requiebros," she made a great show of the Spaniard's impassioned sketches. She finished with Aaron Jay Kernis' Superstar Etude No. 2, an homage to Thelonious Monk, and she gave the thing the proper shot of bebop flavor while negotiating the treacherous waters of this abrupt, explosive contemporary piece. The rest of the press room is raving about Andrea Lam. She merits it.

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