There is nothing especially spectacular about the playing of Huei-Shang Hu, the pianist from the People's Republic of China who made her Washington debut yesterday, inaugurating a week of free lunch-time piano music at the World Bank auditorium.
Huge sonorities are not her forte. In fact, the left hand seems almost more decisive than the right. Time and again, she was making leaps to the bottom of the keyboard -- mostly on single notes -- that were impressively on the beat and that darted right at the listener with their tonal resolve. This was especially true in the roughest work on the program, Schumann's daunting Second Piano Sonata -- a composition that may not be the world's most polished, but is a work of the kind that shows what impassioned, extravagant romanticism is all about.
If the sound of Huei-Shang Hu's right hand does not shake the rafters, it nonetheless expresses considerable finesse. In three little Scarlatti sonatas -- three of the most familiar -- her articulation and observance of dynamic scale were very nice.
That same delicacy with the right hand paid off in the austere, unforced lyricism of the 1973 nocturne of the American composer Robert Helps.
A work called "The Reign of the Phoenix" by the Chinese composer Wang Jian-Zhong was less compelling.
Today in the series, which is at 1 p.m. daily, the soloist will be the Iranian pianist Golnoush Kaleghi.