Music Review: Andreas Ottensamer and Yuja Wan, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh

This Queen’s Hall opening programme by clarinettist Andreas Ottensamer and pianist Yuja Wang turned into something very different from advertised.
Andreas Ottensamer. Picture:ContributedAndreas Ottensamer. Picture:Contributed
Andreas Ottensamer. Picture:Contributed

Andreas Ottensamer and Yuja Wan, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh ***

Sure, the changes to two solo piano items were inconsequential, but with twice as many encores as programmed works in the second half, the proportions, indeed the final assessment, were knocked for six, though not necessarily in a bad way.

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For these encores – ranging from a sultry Summertime to a whimsical “party piece” piano duo and Wang’s solo declaration that “I’m enjoying this; I’ll just keep going” – inspired the most compelling synergy and dynamism between these strong-minded individuals.

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Horowitz’s Sonatina – a virtuosic gem pitting English pastoralism against side-stepping jazz – captivating in all its personae. Wang – reclothed from first half white to gold top and leather trousers – interjected with a seductive Chopin Waltz.

The opening assortment of Weber, Brahms and Mendelssohn was a colder product, Ottensamer’s expressive generosity often at odds with Wang’s matter-of-fact virtuosity and detached tone. A distant memory by the end of the encores.