28 February 2011

Jenny Lin plays Preludes and Fugues

San Francisco Performance’s Young Masters series is a great place to go to discover performers who will soon be playing in the larger neighborhood venues that house the symphony and the opera. Yesterday afternoon, despite the combined forces of an unexpectedly beautiful day, the looming Oscars, and the final Bay Area performance of the Vienna Philharmonic, there was a substantial and remarkably attentive audience, ranging from the very old to a surprising number of children, for pianist Jenny Lin, who played an intriguing mash-up of Shostakovich and Bach. She used selections from Book 1 of the Well-Tempered Clavier and from Shostakovich’s response to that work, his Preludes and Fugues Op 87, to create five triplets; each triplet was constructed like a sandwich, with a Prelude and Fugue by Shostakovich as the bread and a Prelude and Fugue by Bach as the filling. There was no separation between the sandwiches, so the melodies flowed forth in dazzling profusion, in Lin’s strong and articulate account. As an encore she played a piece by Catalan composer Federico Mompou, whom she features on an upcoming CD. Lin plays a lot of contemporary music, and much as I enjoyed this concert I would love to have her come back in a concert of new music.

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