Hearing-impaired young pianist dazzles

Hearing-impaired young pianist dazzles

Review: Classical


Singapore Conference Hall/ Last Sunday

The Young Virtuoso Recital, formerly part of the Singapore International Piano Festival, offers a professional platform for the best of young pianists to showcase their abilities.

Hearing impaired Azariah Tan, having won several international competitions at the age of 22, was the latest to be featured in the series. Despite his tender years, he offered a refined performance.

His astute comprehension of musical structure in his reading of J.S. Bach's Partita No.5 In G major BWV 829 revealed from the start that this was no ordinary musician, but a bona-fide artist with a keen mind.

The sparkling clarity of the opening Prelude and fleet-footed Corrente were delivered with a spirited elegance that never indulged in the unnecessary, and the artfully phrased Sarabande carolled with grace.

Mozart's Piano Sonata in B-flat major, K. 333, offered Tan the opportunity to bask in its youthful innocence. While there were moments of inclination to surge ahead, he nevertheless infused an air of humility and nobility into his playing and resisted all temptation to pedal over delicate runs and leaps.

The second movement would have been better served with a touch more cantabile. It was in the concerto-like final movement, complete with a cadenza section, that the work sprang to life.

Zraz Za by Kawai Shiu, dedicated to the performer, is a reflective and meditative commentary on Chopin's A-minor Prelude.

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