Young pianists Annika Ching Laude and Lindsay Ching Laude wowed the audience at their joint debut recital at Francisco Santiago Hall, BDO South Tower. The pianists played alternately solo pieces, capped with a concerto with the Manila Symphony Orchestra conducted by professor Jeffrey Solares. The audience who came in droves listened in awe as the two pianists played with ardor and presence!
The sisters took turns in playing their pieces. Lindsay opened the concert with Bach’s “Sinfonia No.10” in G, BWV 796, followed by a Allegro con spirito movement from Mozart’s “Sonata No. 9” in D major. Annika followed with Handel’s “Air and Variations” (Suite No. 5, The Harmonious Blacksmith) and the allegro movement from Mozart’s “Sonata No. 12” in F, K.332. In this section, both pianists exuded elegant and warm tones that characterized the classical bent of their pieces.
In the succeeding set of numbers they played pieces from the Romantic period with well-etched tones that disclosed a burning sense of musicality.
Among others, Annika’s two pieces from Mendelssohn’s “Songs Without Words” were exquisitely rendered. Her lines caressed in Chopin’s “Nocturne” in F minor, Op. 55, No.1.
Lindsay, on the other hand, played with equal aplomb. She carved brilliant tones in Schubert’s “Impromptu” in E-flat major, Op.90, No. 2. She essayed expressive legate lines in Chopin’s posthumous “Nocturne No. 20” in C-sharp minor.
All the more the pianists impressed the audience in the concerto they each played at the last half of the program. With the Manila Symphony Orchestra conducted by Solares providing keen collaboration, listening was all the more delightful.
Lindsay essayed Mozart’s “Concerto No. 1” in F major (K377), a pastiche—as the themes from each movement were taken from other composers—with particular ease. The concerto was enriched with the composition of the cadenza in the first movement done by their uncle, composer Jeffrey Ching, who is based in Berlin, Germany.
Kabalevsky’s “Piano Concerto No. 3” in D major, Op. 50 subtitled “Youth,” provided strong stylistic contrast. In contrast to the elegant tones of the previous concerto, Annika, true to the import of the work carved out well-bodied tones that towered over the orchestra.
Both pianists forged strong rapport with the orchestra that played very well.
The sisters cut smart presence on the stage. Their profile says well of solid exposure on stage they had acquired having previously participated in festivals sponsored by the Piano Teachers Guild of the Philippine and the like. Both are honor students of the Chinese International School in Manila with Annika on the ninth and Lindsay on the eight grades respectively.
Their proud parents are Edison and Winnie Laude. Professor Cecilia Roxas, a well-known piano pedagogue who has produced major pianists, is their teacher. —CONTRIBUTED