Yuja Wang and Leonidas Kavakos at Wigmore Hall
This was a sold out concert at Wigmore Hall. Not sure if it was because of the interesting 20th century programme, because of the two famous soloists, because of the glamour of one of them or because of the kink of seeing together two very different personalities. I was in because all of those and because I enjoyed their previous visits to London.
Wang belongs to this class of technically perfect pianists. She is also a master on the modern media communication and she gets a lot of media attention because of her provoking outfits. Some accuse her of accurate soulless playing or playing everything in the same way.
Kakavos is quite the opposite. In my review of Brahms violin concerto with Scalla I named him the worst dressed musician of the year. His performances are intense and meaningful.
So, hell yeah, this was a interesting coupling.
And the outcome was really good. They both gave a little bit of their identities towards a single common approach to the music. Janáček violin sonata found a intense performance with Kavakos taking a lot of risks always on the edge to express the suffering the work hides.
The Schubert fantasy was quite out of context with the rest of the programme and was the less interesting work.
Debussy violin sonata, as a more intimate piece, was very interesting. Maybe Wang was sometimes a little bit out of the expressionist sensitivity but in general it was a wonderful performance.
It was the amazing Bartók 1st violin sonata the best of the night. Here Wang was perfectly accurate and passionate, with Kavakos ensuring that transitions between different musical sections made sense and were not just a succession of different pieces.