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The meteoric career of the Chinese virtuoso Yuja Wang, born in Beijing in 1987, continues apace. Her mastery of Brahms, especially in dazzling renditions of that composer’s Paganini Variations (one was released on Deutsche Grammophon, DG 0289 477 8795 2) is well known to fans. Yuja-watchers may be disappointed that in the photos adorning this new release, the pianist is cloaked in a relatively modest body-length black dress that leaves far more to the imagination than her usual, much-publicised, recital mini-dresses. There is, however, cutesiness aplenty in the programme of this CD, starting with an aggressive Scherzo that the young Brahms wrote in 1853.

The CD ends with a sugary, pianistically soppy transcription of Brahms’s Lullaby Op 49 No 4 by British pianist John Lenahan, as if Yuja’s enervated, frazzled fans will only be fit for sleep after hearing her. Between these two curiosities, the good news is that Wang, who has considerably more experience as a chamber musician than most of her Chinese superstar peers, is a persuasive interpreter of the three Brahms violin sonatas. Nurturingly supportive to her colleague, the extroverted Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos, who is two decades her senior, she never loses her individuality.

Wang joins a few contemporary pianists, including Peter Serkin, Peter Frankl and Klára Würtz, worthy to hear alongside past keyboard eminences who have recorded these works, including Rudolf Firkušný, William Kapell, Rudolf Serkin, Arthur Rubinstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Robert Casadesus and Pierre Barbizet.

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Piano International, 2014 - ©Rhinegold Publishing