Unequivocally the best playing by far that evening was by Yoo Jin Jang performing the Tchaikovsky. Her tonal control was near perfect throughout the three movements--unlike Ji Yoon Lee's on Friday of the same work. Jang possessed none of the defects of bowing, and her staccato work in the third movement was spectacular, and without a single slip. On any held note Jang eased into her characteristic vibrato, making her reading of this work strongly reminiscent of Hilary Hahn's CD recording (and nobody does it better than Hilary). I thought it was the best playing in the competition.
She played it perfectly, the Mozart Violin Concerto No. 4 in D, K. 218. With perfect legato, perfect passage work, the smoothest transitions without any burps or bleeps, S. Korean Yu Jin Jang dominated her five finalist cohorts--four of them also Korean and one from the U.S., over Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Moreover Jang gave us the most consistently beautiful vibrancy in her tonal rendering, with the precision of the accompanying East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) adding to the allure.
By Tom Aldridge