David Fung, the young Australian virtuoso, follows up his debut disc, The Piano: From Hubris to Humility, with Evening Conversations. As the first disc inevitably posed the question of whether or not Fung can make the transition from hubris to humility, so the second disc inevitably poses the twin questions that ask what Fung is talking about and with whom. In this case, the answers are he is talking about the most intimate matters with the composers whose works he's chosen to play. In the Mozart C minor Fantasy that leads off the recital, Fung is talking about life and death; in the Chopin C sharp minor Nocturne, he's talking about love and sex; in the Tan Dun Eight Memories in Watercolor, he's talking about the ancient and the modern; in the Rachmaninov Preludes, he's talking about passion and control; in the Schumann Arabesque and Kinderszenen, he's talking about imagination and fantasy; and in the three Scarlatti Sonatas that close the recital, he's talking about elegance and energy. But no matter what he's talking about, Fung is talking mostly about himself. As From Hubris to Humility amply demonstrated, Fung is a technical virtuoso with nimble fingers and a huge tone, but a poetaster interpretively -- and the preponderance of the poetic over the virtuosic in the program of Evening Conversations is singularly unsuited to his tastes and talents. Too often, Fung's interpretations here are less emotional than sentimental and less introverted than narcissistic and the result is a disc that might more accurately have been titled "Conversations with Myself" (with apologies to Bill Evans). Yarlung's sound is bright and bit but a bit brittle.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Eight Memories in Watercolor, for piano, Op. 1|
|Preludes (13) for piano, Op. 32|
|Kinderszenen (Scenes from Childhood) for piano, Op. 15|
|Sonata for keyboard in D minor, K. 34 (L. S7)|
|Sonata for keyboard in D minor, K. 141 (L. 422)|