Talent to Spare
By Clive O'Connell
"David Fung gave an incisive reading of the F Major Concerto, a work you would be lucky to hear once in a double-decade. His Mozart is no limpid aristocrat but a vital, even prickly individual with a turn for the idiosyncratic, like the Beethoven-heavy left-hand chords for the soloist that come out of nowhere in bars 82 and 86 of the first Allegro, and the oddly unsettling shape of the first two phrases of the Larghetto‘s main theme. Fung made interesting work of each paragraph, notably in the solidly argued initial movement but what impressed most was his fusion with the MCO; he’s an ideal soloist in his awareness of where he fits in to a concerto’s framework, which made his merging into the score’s activity after tutti passages and cadenzas a model of responsibility.
Even better came with the E flat work; but then, it’s more engaging in its material. Fung raised the aggression level slightly so that his initial entries came across with energizing brio. Still, his legato passage work proved admirable – evenly paced and set out with care for its crescendo/diminuendo potential – and throughout this and the preceding work his ornamentation was worked into the fabric with a sensibility that would have done credit to a player many years his senior. Of special note was Fung’s account of the first movement cadenza – Mozart’s own? – where the brusque power of the preceding development came into a kind of heightened focus. Across the whole work, Fung displayed an authority and decisiveness that made even the main body of the four-square finale a feast of elegantly contoured articulation."