Monday 4 December 2023

SEE NING HUI Piano Recital / Bechstein Music World / Review


SEE NING HUI Piano Recital

Bechstein Music World

Saturday (2 December 2023)

It is always interesting to follow the developmental paths and careers of young musicians, and pianist See Ning Hui's journey has had a special significance for this blog. In 2012, she received the Pianomania scholarship at the Singapore Performers Festival, and was also awarded first prize at the Singapore Steinway Youth Competition, all in the space of two days. (We all know which award was the more important!)

Even before completing her PhD at London's Royal College of Music, her recitals have been platforms for promoting much-neglected woman composers. In 2018, she gave what must have been the Singapore premiere of Clara Schumann's Piano Sonata in G minor. 

Her enjoyable hour-long recital opened with Amy Beach's Dreaming from Four Sketches (Op.15), with its beguiling Lisztian melody, followed by late Finnish contemporary composer Kaija Saariaho's Prelude, which conjured a dreamy and foggy atmosphere with its impressionistic tremolos, scales and glissandi. Two movements from Clara Schumann's Sonata in G minor completed a first half inspired by writings of Victor Hugo, Amin Maalouf and Friedrich Ruckert respectively.

The second half was built upon the Schumann-Brahms friendship, opening with the first movement of Robert Schumann's Fantasy in C major (Op.17). Despite its monumentality, the work was built upon youthful love, represented by the quote from Beethoven's An die Ferne Geliebte. Brahms' Intermezzo in E major (Op.116 No.6), a late work, was contemplative with both chordal and lyrical elements, starkly contrasted with the closing work, Clara Schumann's Romance Variee Op.3. This was the child prodigy's virtuosic take on a playful melody, filled with the requisite note-spinning and ornamentation of early Romantic pianism.

See's performance revealed a keen insight and intellectual nous that is all too rare among artists. It was lovely to hear and see this young artist again, one who has matured over the years, and whose serious yet intensely musical approach to a life of performance and education remains refreshing and inspiring. 

See Ning Hui's piano recital was presented by Bechstein Music World.

No comments: