Thursday, 4 April 2013

ABIGAIL SIN Graduate Diploma Piano Recital

ABIGAIL SIN Piano Recital
Graduate Diploma Recital Series
Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Concert Hall
Wednesday (3 April 2013)

Abigail Sin was one of Singapore most brilliant child prodigy pianists. The operative word is “was”, because she has now shed that “prodigy” tag and is an elegant young lady in her early twenties. Having spent two years of further study in London’s Guildhall School of Music, she has returned an even more polished artist. She has also shed those trademark eyeglasses which gave her that prodigious but somewhat gawky appearance. Her hour-long recital provided a sneak peek for her 5 May concert when she inaugurates the The Asian Pianist Recital Series at the Singapore Conference Hall.

She has always impressed me with her playing of Bach, and this performance of the Capriccio on the Departure of his Beloved Brother (BWV.992) confirmed that. Her tone is transparent and beautiful, and the pedalling exemplary. One completely forgets that it was a harpsichord piece to begin with. She brings out all the colours of this programmatic work, and the clarity in which she commands the voices of the fugato and final fugue is astounding. Could she be Singapore’s Angela Hewitt?

Abigail has lived with the Ravel Sonatine for close to a decade, and her identification with the work is total. Its clear flowing lines are brought out well, even if she tended to hurry in the central minuet movement. She has the full measure of the virtuosity in the Animé finale. She included two movements from Miroirs. Her Oiseaux tristes (Sad Birds) was very well characterised, with the mournful quality of a dirge. She struggled a little in the famous Alborada del gracioso and the Spanish dance rhythm was somewhat foursquare. With time, she will certainly grow with this music.

Anyone who thought that she was all notes but no heart should listen to her take on Chopin’s Second Sonata (Op.35), which was wrought with a fiery intensity. With no punches pulled, hers was a fully passionate reading with caution thrown into the wind, fully living up to Schumann’s description as “Chopin’s four most unruly children housed under the same roof”. She thundered through the first two movements without repeats, and brought a heart-wrenching gravitas to the eponymous Funeral March. The lyrical central section had a luminous ring that was especially poignant. The two-minute-long finale was a hellish ride, as it was intended, bringing the recital to a tumultuous close.

ABIGAIL SIN will be performing a full-length recital at The Asian Pianist Recital Series at the Singapore Conference Hall on 5 May 2013, with additional works by Charles Griffes and Singaporean composer Emily Koh. The Bach Capriccio and Chopin Funeral March Sonata will be played again. One can hardly wait.    


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