Yuja Wang, 'You Come Here Often?'
When you're at Yuja Wang's level of virtuosity — not to mention celebrity — the composers come to you. The piano demigod's forthcoming album (releasing March 10) features a 40-minute piano concerto written for her by Louisville Orchestra music director Teddy Abrams, plus a rollicking four-minute piece for solo piano by another music director, Michael Tilson Thomas, longtime leader of the San Francisco Symphony.
MTT's piece is irresistible, opening with a catchy kind of cat-and-mouse motif that builds to a funky, rocking crescendo. From then on, the music alternates between more contemplative passages tinged with jazz and the motorized theme.
Never mind the cutesy wolf-whistle midway through (could have done without that, frankly), just let Wang's rock and roll performance bulldoze right over you. The last 30 seconds are a concussive tour de force, and more proof that she is among the most masterful pianists of her generation.