It was a cool, gloomy and rainy night in Canberra for these two concerts in the Melbourne Digital Concert Hall’s Isolation Series, so viewing them at home via live streaming was something of a bonus. The usual protocols, such as mobile phones being on silent, were followed, but some local cheddar and a nice glass of red were on hand.

Kristian Chong Kristian Chong. Photo © John Tsiavis

Pianist Kristian Chong, was first up, performing in an empty Athenaeum Theatre, in Melbourne. His was a program of Bach (arranged by Siloti), Rachmaninov and Schubert.

One of the big plusses of streaming is that the audience can enjoy their view from several camera angles, with close-ups of the performer’s facial expressions (Chong had many) and, most importantly, their playing technique.

The notable thing about Chong’s technique was that his hands, while producing an extraordinary range of dynamics and emotions in the music, stayed very close to the keys, barely rising even above the piano’s brand name, in this case a very nice Kawai, on the keyboard cover. His is a very gentle touch, caressing the keys in the adagiopassages, but with energetic agility in the...

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