WORKS: Violin Sonata, Op. 9; Violin Sonata in A
PERFORMER: Chee-Yun (violin) Akira Eguchi (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CO 78954 DDD
A few minutes into the Szymanowski the music almost turns into the Franck, and the makings of a good coupling emerge. The sonata opens in splendid Romantic turbulence, firmly rooted in the old world of central-northern Europe. It stops and starts, but then so does Franck’s and, with freer rhythms and less convoluted harmony, Szymanowski keeps his sense of dramatic vitality until the less focused but vigorous finale.
It could have been made for these players, who respond with panache to its unstinted feeling and big gestures. Chee-Yun has a powerful sense of large-scale phrasing, which she supports with great variety of tone and attack and a decisive, agile technique. This is playing that draws its strong personality from the music, and it makes for an outstanding performance of the Franck, suitably more mature and poised.The pianist comes more fully into his own here, relishing the inner life of his own part and at one with the violin for the anguish and exultancy of the big moments.The sound is big and bold, but this music-making has the strength for it and it catches Chee-Yun’s range of colour. Robert Maycock