August 2018 Convention
Orlando, FL

Presenting Victor Wang

2017 Young Artist competition winner and Charlotte Symphony principal flutist Victor Wang presented a stunning, well-programmed recital featuring the works of Gaubert, Gandolfi, Brahms, and Connesson. Opening with Gaubert’s Berceuse, Wang immediately captivated the audience with his gorgeous tone and exquisitely shaped phrases.

This was followed by Michael Gandolfi’s Three Pieces for solo flute, which highlighted the flutist’s incredible dynamic control and embouchure flexibility. The third movement, Heavy-Metal Chorale-Fantasy, featured snippets of Bach-like arpeggiated passages with various extended techniques—all impressively played.

Victor Wang

The mood quickly shifted to a lovely arrangement of Brahms’ Sonata in E-flat Major, originally written for clarinet. This piece offered sheer, effortless beauty by Wang and pianist Collette Valentine, with lovely interplay of flute and piano lines in the first movement and soaring phrases in the middle movement. The final movement opened with a simple melodic theme with variations, which then segued into a grand finale, in which I would have liked to hear the flutist “dig in” a bit more to match the pianist’s grandiose style.

Wrapping up the program was Guillaume Connesson’s Le Rire de Sarai. Translated “Sarah’s laughter,” it references the Biblical story of Sarah giving birth to a son in her old age. The two movements have contrasting characters, with plaintive cries in the first movement that depict Sarah throwing her servant Hagar out of her home in a fit of jealousy, while the second movement is a joyful dance to celebrate the birth of Isaac. At times this section would have benefited from a more robust, whirling flute line (especially in the lower register) to maintain proper balance with the piano’s flurry of notes. This is definitely a work I would enjoy hearing more often.

At the end, the enthusiastic audience gave a rousing applause to these amazing musicians – well-deserved, indeed!

—Rosene Rohrer

Photo by Alice Dade