After a hot, sunny day, it's raining so hard outside the hall that everybody in the press room got up to watch the downpour. Nature seems determined to put on a show of its own tonight.
The afternoon sesh wound up with another wildly mixed program, this one from Kim Kyu-yeon. She started off with the same Haydn sonata in C major that Di Wu played earlier. The performance was nondescript, and I sank into torpor. However, it only took the first few notes of her Schumann Kreisleriana to shake me out of it. The suite of pieces was named (probably) after a series of humorous essays by E.T.A. Hoffmann that featured a crazed musician character named Kreisler. Kim's roaring performance of the first piece convinced me that there were some serious dingbats loose in the guy's head. It was a promising start, and the rest of the performance occasionally lived up to it. However, she couldn't make sense out of the quieter passages. The same pattern held true for her performance of Bartok's Three Etudes. She had beautiful tone, a big sound, and reasonable command of the different demands of the two composers. There's reason to think this 24-year-old might mature beautifully later on. She's not ready now.