Mayron Tsong puts on a full and lively piano concert in just an hour


Pianist and University of Maryland School of Music professor Mayron Tsong played at the Church of the Epiphany in Washington on July 1. (Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center)
July 2

It’s surprising how much music can be squeezed into a one-hour concert. For her noontime program at the Church of the Epiphany in Washington on Tuesday, pianist Mayron Tsong, who is on the music faculty of the University of Maryland, put together a generous sampling of the Russian repertoire she has recorded and that her bold and indefatigable technique clearly favors. The Chopin “Barcarolle” and Haydn Sonata she also performed displayed only the slightest reining-in of her romantic energy.

She didn’t waste any time as she sat down, diving head-long into the quirky playfulness of the first of the five movements of Sergei Prokofiev’s “Sarcasms” and powering her way through the rest with a sense of impetuousness that was suspended tantalizingly by the elastic rubatos of the second movement.

The Haydn was crisp, sometimes delicate, sometimes expansive, occasionally a little hard-edged but always beautifully articulated. The Chopin unfolded generously and moved with grace and inevitability.

But where her Chopin was romantically pianistic, the three Rachmaninoff Op. 33 “Etudes Tableaux” were romantically orchestral. They glowed with colors that tinted their calm moments subtlety and their restless ones with a touch of brass.

She ended with a driving performance of the Prokofiev Op. 11 “Toccata” — four minutes of insistent staccato fireworks — that was a tribute both to her strength and even touch and to the well-voiced Steinway that responded so admirably.

Reinthaler is a freelance writer.

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