Beethoven, Bach, Lutoslawski, Ravel, YsaØe, Schubert,

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COMPOSERS: Bach,Beethoven,Lutoslawski,Ravel,Schubert,Ysaye
LABELS: Discover
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Juliette Kang
WORKS: Violin Sonata in E flat, Op. 12/3; Chaconne in D minor; Subito; Violin Sonata in G, Op. 27/5; Sonatina in D, D384; Last Rose of Summer
PERFORMER: Juliette Kang (violin)Melvin Chen (piano)
The gold medal winner of last year’s Indianapolis International Violin Competition was the Canadian-born Juliette Kang. This disc marks that event and is consequently something of a medley, although the pieces allow Kang to demonstrate her considerable assurance across a range of styles. In Bach’s Chaconne from the D minor Partita, she is rather unconvincing: although technically impressive, she sounds as if she is going through the motions and fails to generate much excitement. However, that coolness is used to better effect in the two Classical sonatas here – Beethoven’s Op. 12/3 and Schubert’s D384 – which are given with elegance and style. Perhaps more engaging are the less well known pieces, including Lutoslawski’s Subito, one of his last works, which was written for the competition (this is its first recording). Kang manages its intricate rhythms and technical demands unostentatiously, and communicates its fractured lyricism with concentration. Similarly, in the arrangement of Ravel’s Kaddish, she plays with a dignified melancholy and avoids flamboyant gesture. In her breathtaking conclusion, Kang saunters through Heinrich Ernst’s arrangement of ‘The Last Rose of Summer’, in which the Irish air is, most enjoyably, tortured into a piece of show-stopping virtuosity. William Humphreys-Jones