Hantaï - that sounds interesting. A report from you about [Hantai] the recital would be appreciated.
Well, the concert hall (Salle Gaveau) was freezing cold and about one third full. He was obviously disturbed right from the start when he saw someone taking photos, and he signalled to stop. After the initial pieces (Byrd) he politely asked the guy to stop. Result: the guy became offensive ("people have already started to walk out of the concert", " all this fuss just for a photo" . . .) Hantai was evidently disturbed and it showed when he played the Bach. The overture sounded angry. But he'd calmed down by the time he came to the Sarabande and the Meunuets were fantastic -- with a wonderful sense of dialogue between the voices. Generally I was stuck by two things. First, at times the Bach was very busy with ornamentation. And second, he had a way of highlighting dissonances which I hadn't noticed before. The best bits for me was the Byrd and an unidentified L Couperin prelude and chaconne and that Bach menuet and Sarabande. I love everything I hear by Byrd though!
I hope you enjoy the concert! She [Zhu Xiao-Mei ] can be terrific, I think. I enjoy her Haydn and also part of her recent Mozart recording.
I heard her play a Mozart fantasy and a Haydn sonata. She played D960 but I had to leave early so I missed it. I thought she was frankly mediocre. She's got a very rich and burnished tone though. In both the Mozart and the Haydn contrasts and drama were resolutely avoided. The result was beautiful, rich and trivial. In Haydn especially she seemed to have nothing at all to say: no wit, no intensity, just a sort of warm comfortable mellow burnished sound.