Review: Hao Zi Yoh at the Assembly Housein Norwich

Norfolk and Norwich Festival' N sculptures at The Forum. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY.

Norfolk and Norwich Festival' N sculptures at The Forum. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

The second recital in the Norfolk and Norwich Festival's Royal Academy of Music series brought to the Assembly House Hao Zi Yoh. Born in Malayasia in 1995, she spent her undergraduate years in Germany. Now, with an outstanding record of achievement, she has come London for advanced studies.

A slight, dark-haired figure, she greeted the audience with a wide smile. Then, with an impassive face, she turned to the piano and launched into Beethoven's Opus 109, sure proof of serious intent and impressive self-confidence.

With a remarkable range of instant responses to detail, she displayed real strength where it was needed. Without hesitating over any difficulty, she brought us safely home to the touching chorale-like section that concludes this challenging work.

She showed much the same qualities in her performance of the Second Book of Albeniz' Iberia. What was different was her skill in capturing the spirit of this musical travelogue with a certain hidalgo pride that gave character to pulsating dance rhythms.

Choosing to conclude with Chopin's B minor Sonata was further evidence of the pianist's ambition. Unfortunately her interpretation was rather heavy-handed when a lighter touch would have been more stylish and offered an attractive contrast to what we enjoyed earlier.

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Christopher Smith

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