The New York Times: Yo-Yo Ma and Wu Man with Long Yu Play With Cinematic Sweep

The New York Times
Joshua Barone

“A Happy Excursion” had a fitting companion in Tchaikovsky’s emotive “Pathétique” Symphony. The Philharmonic musicians can probably play this overprogrammed piece in their sleep; in the past, it has occasionally felt as if they were doing just that. But under Mr. Yu’s baton, they summoned surprising extremes, leavened occasionally with the brisk lightness of a Tchaikovsky ballet.

Like Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, which the Vienna Philharmonic was playing on Wednesday evening at Carnegie Hall, the “Pathétique” has an unusual form of four movements in slow-fast-fast-slow progression. Mr. Yu seemed to approach it as program music, finding a long arc in the work’s adagio bookends.

Read more of the review here.