* Posted on behalf of Jon Bear who is having some computer issues.
Classical music is probably the music that stirs me emotionally more than any other kind of music. There are many wonderful composers who I am fond of and while I may focus on a composer or two in the future I wanted this Entertainment Monday to be about a classical performer, Yuja Wang.
What this really is about is her talent and performance ability which is tremendous. Long before and long since I ever saw a picture of Yuja Wang I enjoyed listening to her piano performances. Few people can make the big time in whatever they do professionally without special talent. As an amateur musician for 14 or so years performing in school and in college I have a small insight into the dedication and time that performers must put into their music learning. I hold an incredible level of respect for anyone who takes the time to learn an instrument and especially for those who try to make a living in music. Not everyone can be a star and not everyone can be a soloist, but anyone who performs instrumental music does so first and foremost for the love of music. Not everyone can be a child prodigy either as Yuja Wang was so she had that working for her which most people do not right from the get go I suppose. I'm particularly a fan of piano compositions and that is how I was first introduced to Yuja Wang.
I used to search for piano pieces I love on I tunes and later on you tube and audiolizer and often times some of the pieces I enjoy most were performed by Yuja Wang. Having thoroughly enjoyed many of her performances I became a fan. One of the challenges to posting links to classical music is that you tube versions of classical performances that are over 10 minutes long often skip. I've never looked into why this is and if it has to do with copy write laws or not, but those disjointed performances don't really do justice to the music so whenever I post a classical link it will be to a piece that is under 10 minutes long. That means that I am a bit limited in the performances I can post and some of my favorites must be excluded. I know not everyone wishes to spend a good chunk of time listening to one piece of music either, so the shorter clips may help some of our readers in that respect.
A figure that there are several people might be familiar with the Flight of the Bumblebee, so here's a clip of Yuja Wang performing the whimsical piece by Rimsky-Korsikov ...
One of my favorite musical pieces which is a particularly challenging piano piece even for professionals to perform is the Erlkonig (the Erlking) originally written by Franz Schubert and adapted to a piano performance later by the composer Franz Liszt.
Here is Yuja Wang's amazing virtuoso performance...
and here is a link to a more eloquent explanation of the Erlkonig: http://www.classicalconnect.com/Piano_Music/Schubert/Erlkonig/2233 which includes another version (although incomplete) of the piano performance by pianist Daniil Trifonov.
I hope that classical fans will enjoy listening to Yuja Wang and for those who may not have known about her, perhaps her performances will bring some new fans to the amazing world of classical music and piano performance.