Magazine article Gramophone

Wieniawski Competition Victor Records Favourite Concertos

Magazine article Gramophone

Wieniawski Competition Victor Records Favourite Concertos

Article excerpt

Sibelius * Tchaikovsky

Sibelius Violin Concerto, Op 47

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, Op 35

Soyoung Yoon vn

Gorzow Philharmonic Orchestra/Piotr Borkowski

Dux (F) DUX0336 (72' * DDD)

Soyoung Yoon gives meticulous, highly disciplined performances of both these concertos. It's lovely violin-playing, stressing clarity and beauty of tone. However, particularly in the Sibelius, I felt there was something missing--an element of darkness and wildness, perhaps. It's partly due to the orchestral contribution; the playing is well balanced and admirably precise but, for instance, the sudden brass entries lack that fierce edge that gives the work its special colour. In much of the first movement, too, there's an air of deliberation that takes away from the music's emotional intensity. Turn to Vilde Frang's recording and we're in another world. Frang may occasionally ignore Sibelius's dynamics but from the start the tonal colouring and rhythmic character of her playing are designed to transmit the work's unique emotional atmosphere. Soyoung Yoon appears to allow her concern for a rounded sound or exactness of rhythm to dilute her expressive message.

The Tchaikovsky has many fine moments--the livelier parts of the first movement and the finale are especially successful. And some listeners may find her sensitive but restrained approach to Tchaikovsky's lyricism entirely convincing. However, I find the more spontaneous, overtly emotional style of Ray Chen suits the music better. His recording, too, has the advantage of Daniel Harding's inspired direction, producing a performance in which all the concerto's aspects knit together. …

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