Assessment: Yunchan Lim, Teenage Piano Star, Arrives in New York
Especially given the acoustics of the renovated Geffen Hall — which don’t instantly place soloists in sonic boldface, slightly integrating them into the ensemble — this was very a lot a duet with a Philharmonic that performed beneath Gaffigan with transparency, heat and restraint.
Some of one of the best moments have been the quietest ones: In the third motion, the passage during which the piano performs because the strings flippantly faucet with their bows gave the impact of a snow globe, air stuffed with swirling ice crystals. All in all, this was the sort of efficiency that made me need to hear the way it develops over the course of a weekend, as these gamers and Lim get even extra comfy with one another.
Oh, and the live performance had a primary half, too: an instrumental association of Valentin Silvestrov’s tender choral “Prayer for Ukraine” and a uncommon, glorious rendition of Prokofiev’s Third Symphony, from the late Nineteen Twenties.
For New York opera lovers, there was some poignancy to listening to this symphony, since Prokofiev drew its musical materials from his memorably excessive “The Fiery Angel,” the Metropolitan Opera premiere of which was canceled (and never rescheduled) throughout the pandemic. Gaffigan — all through the live performance, drawing out taking part in that was managed and pressing but additionally delicate and pure — emphasised the eerily seductive beauties of this grand, colourful, astringent rating, with all its subdued sourness and shivery nervousness.
The Prokofiev alone would have made Wednesday’s program a spotlight of the Philharmonic’s season, nevertheless it’s comprehensible if many within the viewers will assume instantly of Lim after they recall this live performance. If sure of his phrases within the Rachmaninoff might have relaxed only a shade extra, his encores — sure, plural — have been pure eloquent serenity.
The second, a Lyadov prelude, was beautiful. But the primary, Liszt’s association for piano of “Pace non trovo,” one among his songs to Petrarch texts, was greater than that: wistful but recent, altogether elegant.
He performed it like a dream.
New York Philharmonic
This program continues by way of Friday at David Geffen Hall, Manhattan; nyphil.org.