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I realize we've all seen plenty of prodigies in our time, including many on From the Top, but this girl is something else. She started playing Op. 25 No. 6 at age 8 and here she is performing it effortlessly and IMO rather beautifully a few years later with nary a mistake at around mm = 152.



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Haochen Zhang performed at least one entire set of the Chopin Etudes at age 11.

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This is extremely impressive. On the other hand, it is standard fare for world-class talent and not exceptional beyond that. I think both Yuja Wang and Lang Lang played the entire set of Chopin etudes at age 12. I have seen many similar performances by kids at that age. Don't get me wrong, it is incredibly impressive. However, the girl is not over the top for a prodigy imo.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
This is extremely impressive. On the other hand, it is standard fare for world-class talent and not exceptional beyond that. I think both Yuja Wang and Lang Lang played the entire set of Chopin etudes at age 12. I have seen many similar performances by kids at that age. Don't get me wrong, it is incredibly impressive. However, the girl is not over the top for a prodigy imo.

Don't get me wrong, I've seen technical accomplishment more or less on this level in kids of similar age. But this performance of one of the two most difficult etudes is so musical and polished, it pretty much blew me away. This seems like more than your standard prodigy.

I probably should have made it clearer what I was talking about in the OP. I'm at an age where I am not generally astonished by mere technique.


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Looks like a Chinese-American. Wonder why the parents didn't adopt an easier to remember English name like Sharon and keep "Xinran" as the middle name like many Chinese would do. That's for another discussion. The technical level is above most people her age. A piece like this is definitely a good way to show off her technical abilities but finding "beauty" in complexity depends on the listener. In my younger days I listened to Bach fugues and find beauty in these complex pieces. I wouldn't be listening to a piece like this over & over like Bach pieces.

The next break would be getting recognition in a TV talent show like "America's Got Talent" or getting a recording deal from a major record label like Deutsche Grammophon to reach a wider audience.

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technically mature but emotionally unmatured so this performance means nothing to me piano playing is not a sport

Last edited by MadLiszt; 11/04/21 05:22 PM.


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"I really like this piece because it is very hard technically...." ha ha ha

(not laughing at her, but at the idea of that --
it wouldn't likely be a reason for me to really like a piece) grin


BTW I think much more of the performance that what the above post says.

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IMHO
Highly impressive for a pianist at any age: tempo, accuracy and most important— musical. I look forward to hear more from her 😊


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Originally Posted by MadLiszt
technically mature but emotionally unmatured so this performance means nothing to me piano playing is not a sport
What on earth is musically immature in this performance? I strongly disagree.

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^^ yes! ^^

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MadLiszt
technically mature but emotionally unmatured so this performance means nothing to me piano playing is not a sport
What on earth is musically immature in this performance? I strongly disagree.

I strongly agree with you, pianoloverus, and with Mark_C and dogperson. It was precisely because of the extraordinary maturity evident in the performance of the music that I listened to the end of the video rather than switching it off after 10 bars, which is what I usually do when I hear 12 year olds playing technical showpieces. Moreover, the interpretation sounds authentic to me, "owned" in a way that can't be just taught like you'd teach a parrot. The dynamic shading, the discreet agogics, the powerful sense of direction and forward motion, even in the face of the most difficult passagework (with one tiny exception), the careful pedaling, the clear appreciation of the structure, the appropriate articulation/delineation of the lines and contrapuntal elements: these aspects of her performance are not figments of my imagination! Nor are they some kind of fakery. I devoted several years to an analysis of the etudes and I think I can recognize the real thing when I hear it.

Chopin's etudes "are the only extant great works of art that really owe their character to their being Etudes." (Tovey, see here; my emphasis. Tovey wrote this 15 years before Debussy's Etudes were published.) IMO this young person has reached a level of maturity in her playing and interpretation where she truly seems to appreciate this defining aspect of the piece she is performing.


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Absolutely gorgeous performance. Such lightness in the hands and fluttery fingers.


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There was one run that could have been cleaner, and I think could overall be a tad lighter still. But that is nitpicking.

Amazingly, it sounds even faster than about the usual half note=69.

But overall amazing. Could be spectacular playing.

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SiFi:

What do you think about his performance?


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It’s a fantastic performance! It’s not musically immature in the slightest… you can tell she has years of experience with that etude. She’s put in lots of work.

Time to hear her do the Godowsky version to give the left hand the same thirds workout!

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Her facility with double notes is incredible, that's for sure. I don't know if everyone could manage them at that tempo, probably not.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
I don't know if everyone could manage them at that tempo....

I know if everyone could manage them at that tempo. grin

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Originally Posted by ranjit
Her facility with double notes is incredible, that's for sure. I don't know if everyone could manage them at that tempo, probably not.
?? Maybe 1 in a 500 who play piano can manage the piece at even a slower tempo.

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I think that's actually a pretty accurate mathematical figure.

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Originally Posted by spk
There was one run that could have been cleaner, . . .

I think you heard exactly the same thing I heard (my "tiny exception").

BTW, it's definitely faster than half note = 69. I clocked her in at 76 base tempo.


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