- Pianist Magazine
Hu’s cheery interpretation of Rachmaninoff’s piano transcription of the Preludio from Bach’s Partita in E Major is a high-point on this disc. This is apparent as it’s the only non-Rachmaninoff composition, which gives Bach an even greater chance to stand out than usual. Preceding a dream-like arrangement of Rachmaninoff’s Lilacs, the album closes with his Sonata in B-flat minor, Op. 36. This sonata is one with multiple personalities established throughout its 40-minute timeframe. In an interesting tidbit, Rachmaninoff was never fully satisfied with this sonata. This level of doubt comes through in the frenzied manner of his sonata, and Hu distinguishes those moods beautifully.
“We have waited for years for such a giant talent and here she is. Ching-Yun Hu, the amazing Taiwanese, is not just a great pianist, she is first of all a human being playing music; so human in every sound she produces. She plays, talks, prays and what not. A phenomenon of Nature. She plays Beethoven's Concerto No. 1 - and it was a very stylized and real, sincere one. Full of drama and poetry at the same time. This young woman brings with her the secret, the mystery ,and the style. She has the suspense of Brendal, Perahia's lyricism and Barenboin's depth. Are we witnessing the birth of a new Martha Argerich?”
"The Chopin Rondo in E-flat, Op. 16 was played with elegance and flabbergasting fingerwork. Speaking in terms of sheer technical brilliance, I don’t recall being as amazed even by Horowitz’s performance of the same work."
"Ching-Yun Hu was a superb pianist, and the transcription [Chopin Piano Concerto #1] allowed her urgent, finely detailed phrasing to be appreciated to a degree not always possible with full orchestra. Her legato is lovely, and the way she adjusted her playing - articulation, tone - to what the ensemble was doing at the moment was a lesson in what it means to be a listening and sensitive musician."
"Ching-Yun Hu brought down the house with the tremendous ovation she received."
"Taiwanese pianist Ching-Yun Hu made a formidable Mendocino Music Festival debut recital in Preston Hall. A full house warmly greeted the diminutive artist, and she responded with a pensive and then dramatic performance of Scriabin’s Sonata Fantasy, Op. 19. Four Chopin works comprised the second half with the afternoon’s best playing coming in the shortest work, the E Flat Nocturne of Op. 55, No. 2. Rhythmic subtlety approaching Ignaz Friedman’s iconic 1936 recording was a delight (praise can go no higher), as was Ms. Hu’s command of pianissimo. The repeated right-hand A and B Flat notes had a character of bells, and she artfully pedaled the ethereal transition to the final two chords that held me spellbound."
"Judging from the semi-finals, the Rubinstein Piano Master Competition already has a winner. It is Taiwanese Hu Ching-Yun, the only semifinalist with a real ‘spark.’ that elusive superstar quality that everybody looks for. Musical, energetic and full of flair, she gushed through Beethoven’s Concerto No. 1 and drove some of the audience to give her a standing ovation."
- United Kingdom
"Hu’s staggering fingerwork in Liszt’s Spanish Rhapsody was tamped by her hallmark of visceral virtuosity allied to breathtaking clarity. A foretaste of Hu’s outstanding pianism came in the opening work in which Schubert’s amazingly fecund imagination inspired the Sonata in C minor, D. 958. With stamina sapping demands, Hu’s all-embracing playing never faltered. A towering talent, and in one so petit!"
- Taipei, Taiwan
"Ching-Yun Hu gave an overwhelming impression as she changed drastically from Eusebius and Florestan in the Schumann Kreisleriana. The interpretation was beautifully done."
“Ching-Yun Hu has everything you need in the pianistic league... extremely confident and physically strong, with a pleasant relaxed tone, also the soft sound beautifully textured. Especially in the second movement of Rachmaninoff's B minor Sonata: Here she exposes an emotional structure that is transparent, and even moving.”
- Wigmore Hall Recital, United Kingdom
"Ching-Yun Hu displayed the maturity to infuse El Amor y la Muerte, from the Goyescas by Granados, with a profound depth of emotion in a beautifully-shaped, expansive perfromance. She followed it with Chopin's relatively unfamiliar E-flat Rondo, Op. 16, negotiating its fast-flowing passages with cool control, elegance and ease. To conclude, she offered a highly accomplished account of Rachmaninov's Second Sonata in B-flat minor, Op. 36, the dramatic opening of the Allegro agitato compelling attention, while the concluding Allegro molto was the ideal showcase for Hu's virtuosity as she propelled the movement to an emphatic climax."
- Klavier-Ruhr Festival, Germany
“Listen to the dramatic thunder storm of the Rachmaninoff Sonata No. 2, and energitic keywork of the Leighton Fantasia, Hu's playing is especially shown when she played two well known Mozart works. Her playing expands from strength to the most deeply felt moments of almost inaudibility; to the soul and pianistic bliss. It is like the way of scultures. Her way of music is to find the essential at the core of the composition's fullness.”
- United Kingdom
"The slightly built Taiwanese, Ching-Yun Hu, gossamer in her Ravel, outwardly romantic in Chopin’s Third Sonata, gave an account of Shostakovich’s First Sonata that was a show of red-blood brilliance."
“In performance, Hu showed herself to be a first-class talent. Her concentrated treatment of Scriabin’s Nocturne, Op. 9, No. 2 evoked an entrancing coloristic world. In Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit, she conjured some incredibly sinister effects in the final movements, in a performance that graphically projected the poems on which each movement is based. A more complete summation of her talent can be heard on her CD Ching-Yun Hu Plays Chopin (Archimusic). It more fully reveals her poetic use of color and confidently expressive phrasing in performances of works such as Barcarolle and Scherzo No. 4 that hold up with the best.”
"A New Look at the Winners: As in the competition, the audience remains favoring the Taiwanese pianist, Ching-Yun Hu. After the 4 hands of Schubert Fantasie and Stravinsky’s Petroushka, Hu played with mesmerizing, magic touch in the Chopin Barcarolle, and even more so shown in the Ravel Gaspard de la nuit. And the transcription of the Strauss Blue Danube, like a marvelous ‘dessert,’ was played with great virtuosity."
- Maidstone, UK
"Audience couldn’t wait to applaud
A capacity audience was entranced by the pianist, Ching-Yun Hu, playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with such charm and intuition it was easy to realize we were in the presence of one of the world’s greatest performers. With the musicians moving from one triumph to another, there clearly came a time when the audience simply could no longer contain their delight. Hu wowed the audience with her dazzling performance of the Beethoven; such was her enthusiasm that she was almost dancing to the music. Her appearance was something of a coup for Maidstone audiences, sine the rest of the international starlet’s programme takes her to Brazil, Holland, the USA, South Africa, Taiwan and Hungary."
- South Africa
“Ching-Yun Hu is already a remarkable pianist. In Tchaikovsky’s fearsome Piano Concerto No. 1 she demonstrated brilliantly and with great feeling for musical line that this concerto also has delectable inner voices which are all too often overlooked. Shimmering pedal effects, delicate washes of notes and being expressively convincing is still more important to her than granitic power in, say, chord playing. The Finale, very fast and brilliant, gave way to the big tune which was broadened at the end in the most convincing way.”
“Another WOW concert - The Israel Chamber Orchestra
Without doubt the star of the evening was the celebrated Taiwanese pianist Ching-Yun Hu, whose virtuosity in [Mozart’s] concerto #23 was simply–brilliant. The support of the orchestra [under Yoav Talmi] in this familiar-to-many concerto added to our pleasure.”
- The Netherlands
“It is almost mysterious to see how the pianist - Ching- Yun Hu - can dominate the podium entirely with her flexible and spirited reading of Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit, and the next day transforms into a casually dressed young woman – radiating with simplicity and discretion from the deepest of her being. In her birth country, she is being acclaimed already 'Taiwans glory". With a cheered recital in Alice Tully Hall, which she broke through two years ago at the hypercritical public of connoisseurs in New York, the doors to Carnegie Hall opened themselves."
“The strangely fantastical sense of freedom of Ching-Yun Hu, identify[ies] her as a player willing to stand outside of the box with a distinctive resolve. Her accurate musical phrasing of Chopin’s A minor Study would put most performers to shame.”
“Ching-Yun Hu reveals a deeply original and imaginative personality, supported by extraordinary technique.”
- United Kingdom
“Ching-Yun Hu is the key to success.”
- United Kingdom
“Highlights included a wonderful performance of Kenneth Leighton's Fantasia contrapuntistica by Ching-Yun Hu, whose movement between dynamic ranges was imperceptible yet superbly effective.”