Review: Violinist Sarah Chang proves master of multiple traditions in recital for Chamber Music San Francisco

Sarah Chang
San Jose Mercury News

By Elijah Ho

Immediately startling was the thrill of her sound, a sustained tension that had a sweet ardor, even in the darker hues of Brahms' Third Violin Sonata. The virtuoso's tone was luxuriant and multifaceted in its expressive power and communicated solemnity in the Adagio that was so well-conceived, I wondered if the composer would have smiled in agreement.

Chang's gift of lyricism was apparent in Franck's Sonata in A Major. From the opening swaying intervals of the Allegretto ben moderato, her tone was introspective, highly varied in weight and in touch, and there was a calm fragility in the lightness of her playing that was heartbreaking. The Allegro, turbulent and frenetic, showed her to be remarkably in-sync with her pianist, well-rehearsed and amiable, and the audience showered them for it with a loud ovation before allowing them to proceed with the Recitative-Fantasia.

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