Beyond the dazzling technical finish he brings to these fiendishly challenging pieces, most striking is Wong's sincerity of purpose.
— Patrick Rucker,
GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE (United Kingdom)
Wong skilfully balances fire, flair and levity, and has a knack for nudging the melodies gently round their corners. In the Lisztian spirit, he even adds a few ideas of his own. Ethereal, held-breath delicacy.
— Erica Jeal,
THE GUARDIAN (United Kingdom)
In a very well-crafted programme, he used Mozart as a start point, before branching into the transcendental pianism of Chopin, Liszt and Busoni. Almost Romantic in character, the Fantasy In C Minor (K.475) is Mozart's most modern- sounding piano work and it resonated like late Liszt in Wong's hands.
Heavy octaves, stark chords and amplification of dissonances rid the already austere work of any sentimentality, thus paving the way for his dissertation.
Busoni's Second Sonatina was a wholly original work, but with a Mozartian inspiration. This most dissonant and violent work, looking forward to a Schonbergian future, was dispatched with fearless aplomb and uncompromising authority.
This is how legends are made.
— Chang Tou Liang,
STRAITS TIMES (Singapore)
"(Wong) throws himself headlong into works fraught with difficulty, examining all aspects with a truly remarkable sensitivity and taste."
— CLASSICAL VOICE (Italy)
I have run out of superlatives here as this really is a stupendous recording. I have listened to this disc many, many times while writing this review. It is one of those few recordings which sounds as if it is spontaneously generating whenever it is played. Every idea is presented without preconceptions and flows naturally. Mr. Wong’s playing is phenomenal. There is some exquisite interplay between the hands. Even when the music is breathtakingly challenging, he manages to make it sound easy. I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending this disc to fellow listeners, as it is incredible.
— Jonathan Welsh,
...impressively over-the-top, as it should be. I loved every juicy second.
In the Halevy fantasy (themes from La Juive) Wong is again at his octopus-like best as fistfuls of notes go flying in every direction. It’s all very exciting, and this pianist knows just what to do to avoid anything sounding like
empty rhetoric. It is all performed most seriously, but with enough bravura and flair to bring down the house.
The two Mozart based pieces are better known, especially the Don Giovanni Fantasy. Wong uses the Busoni edition as his point of departure. The Fantasy on themes from Figaro and Don Giovanni is a potpourri of joyful elation.
Do not miss this one.
— Alan Becker,
AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE
Even among overwrought perofrmances which are a norm, Hong Kong-born Chiyan Wong's account stood out for being vastly different and often revisionist.
How he stressed and stretched the opening movement's slow tempos, peppering it with ear-catching accents at unexpected places and dragging out the massive cadenza to almost eternity, was certain to perk one up.
His quickfired reflexes in the machine-gun like Scherzo - concluded within all of two minutes - was almost a given.
The rambunctious Intermezzo and tempestuous Finale gave him much opportunity to redefine the meaning of the word grotesque.
One suspects the enfant terrible in Prokofiev would not have minded at all. With excellent accounts on disc by youngsters Yuja Wang, Kirill Gerstein and Beatrice Rana available for reference, Wong is very much his own man with many valid things to say.
His encore, Liszt's late and bleak Nuages Gris (Grey Clouds) - also in G minor - and the very antithesis of the concerto, was also proof of unique thought processes at work.
— Chang Tou Liang,
STRAITS TIMES (Singapore)
Standing in... was the young UK based pianist Chiyan Wong whose utterly breathtaking performance was a revelation. [He] displayed finger work and glissandi with the sort of prestidigitation that conjured magical effects on the piano this reviewer had never heard produced before... Ravishing delicacy of touch and tone in the lyrical passages and tremendous percussive forces in the cadenzas that made the piano at times a frightening instrument, inevitably brought [Horowitz] to mind... Those present at this performance will run, I imagine, not walk to secure their tickets for his future recitals.
— John Gilroy,
CAMBRIDGE NEWS (United Kingdom)
Wong, aged 15, possessed remarkable sophistication in his piano playing.
— Christo Lelie,
TROUW (The Netherlands)