Saturday, June 6, 2009

Son Yeol-eum (Concerto II)

A scant 18 hours after playing her Chopin concerto, Son came out in a fiery red dress and outfit that was entirely appropriate for the work at hand. She played Prokofiev's Second Concerto, and bore no resemblance to the refined musician of the previous night. Instead, she smoked the damn thing, and good for her. One capability she hadn't shown in previous performances was the ability to make the piano roar, but she played this piece with a ferocity that even I didn't expect from her. Prokofiev eschewed a traditional slow movement when he wrote this piece, and the result is the musical equivalent of a Michael Bay movie, short on reflective moments and long on explosions and loud noises. This isn't music you analyze; you just sit there and let it blow you away. Son did a fair bit to shape the music, especially the runs in the third movement. She lost a bit of strength at the very end (not enough to damage her, as was the case last night), but the power game she showed here was one more facet of her astonishing versatility. I've come a long way in appreciating this pianist. She gets to rest now; all her performances are done. Rock on, girlfriend.

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