Rhythmic Bite: This Week’s 8 Best Classical Music Moments on YouTube

that decisive moment

The pianist Yuja Wang in a performance of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto with the National Youth Orchestra of China.CreditHarrison Hill/The New York Times

In addition to writing reviews, features and news during the week, our critics and reporters collect the best of what they’ve heard: notes that sent shivers down their spines, memorable voices, quotations that cut to the heart of the story. This week, we’re offering a glimpse into the research we’ve done on YouTube for articles.

Read the rest of our classical music coverage here.


The pianist and composer Conrad Tao performs the third movement of Prokofiev’s Seventh Piano Sonata.

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Rhythmic Bite

The Chinese piano virtuoso Yuja Wang loves to play encores for her typically excited audiences, even after concerto performances. Recently, after performing Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto with the National Youth Orchestra of China on its debut program at Carnegie Hall, Ms. Wang played two of them, starting with the daunting final movement of Prokofiev’s Seventh Piano Sonata. This perpetual-motion music is driven by repetitive, leaping chords that whiz past in a jumpy 7/8 meter. For me, Ms. Wang’s white-hot performance was just too fast, too hectic. To my mind, the young pianist Conrad Tao nailed this finale in a video for the New York Times’s “In Performance” series. His tempo, though plenty fast, is reined in just enough to allow for bracing clarity and rhythmic bite. Inner voices and crucial details come through. Listen to the way Mr. Tao, brings out a fleeting melodic bit in the left hand, like some taunting intrusion coming out of nowhere. What fun. ANTHONY TOMMASINI

Read our review of Ms. Wang’s performance with the National Youth Orchestra of China.


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Out of Tune, in the Spotlight

George Gershwin’s opera “Porgy and Bess,” which is at the Glimmerglass Festival this weekend and was recently announced for the Metropolitan…

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