REVIEW: Yuja Wang and Martin Grubinger

As a fan of dramatic classical music this performance was a treat for me to see. It was especially fitting for me to see yesterday because I was having a pretty rough day with some pent up anxiety and frustration. The first act quickly released all these pent up emotions because the music felt so relateable to how I was feeling. The xylophonist were alternating between crescendo and decrescendo, steady rhythms and contrasting beats all while Yuja hopped between low and high notes ignoring the use of scales. It felt a little frantic and I wondered if the musicians had a similar day to the one I was having.

The second act was different from the first, even with how Yuja was dressed. She changed from a classic black dress to a yellow dress that felt calming. I am curious if her dresses had any particular relationship to the music she played? Whereas the first act felt more frantic to me, the second act seemed more structured and listening to it would remind me of life. When the xylophonists played in harmony it felt like a clock ticking, and when they would all start playing extremely fast I felt like there were a swarm of bees surrounding my head.

The friend that I was sitting with is a dancer and I asked her “how come you aren’t dancing to the music?” She replied that the beat in the music was too irregular. The music was pretty hectic. There were three drummers/xylophone players in the first part, and four in the second part. Additionally, Yuja’s piano playing felt like a free-style that didn’t always match the rhythm of all or any of the percussionists, but masterfully still fit in. This performance was not like a synchronized quartet or orchestra.

The seats I had were in the very top of the Mezzanine and there were a lot of open seats surrounding me. I not only took advantage of this extra room to spread out and be comfortable, but I tested out how the sound was from every side of Hill Auditorium. It’s incredible that sitting so high up in Hill Auditorium I still felt as though I was sitting at the second row because the music was so loud and clear. However, something I thought I noticed, but don’t want to be quoted on, was that the music did sound louder when I sat in the middle of the mezzanine compared to when I was sitting on either side. If you are ever choosing a seat in Hill Auditorium, I suggest the middle.

Ronald McTrump

I am a senior studying business and I have lots of travelling experience in Asia. I am very pessimistic and opinionated about life, but art brings me happiness and I hope my pessimism isn't apparent in my reviews, for the sake of the artists!

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