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This was Kyung-Wha Chung's first recording, made when she was 22, just after her sensational London debut in the Tchaikovsky Concerto with the same orchestra and conductor. It is splendid. Only a young, radiantly talented player could make these two tired war horses sound so fresh and vital; only a consummately masterful one could sail through their daunting technical difficulties with such easy virtuosity and perfection. Her tone is flawlessly beautiful, varied in colour and inflection; she puts her technical resources entirely at the service of the music, giving every note meaning and honestly felt expression without exaggeration or sentimentality. The Tchaikovsky has charm, humour, sparkle; the slow movement is dreamy, wistful and unmuted but subdued and inward. The Sibelius is dark and bleak but full-blooded, passionate and intense. --Edith Eisler
Top Customer Reviews
The Sibelius is probably the finest version on disc, taking into consideration the main competitors (Heifetz versions and possibly another Oriental virtuoso).
Strengths in Chung's performance:
a) Interpretation is 5 gold stars, dazzling and passionate, with plenty of "Fire without warmth" that characterizes Sibelius. No hint of over-romaticizing in the second movement, though it is the Heifetz versions which move me to tears with the intensity and darkness of the brilliance here.
b) Rapport with Andre Previn, who is one of the most seriously underrated conductors of his time. 5 Gold Stars.
c) Orchestral playing by the LSO at their very best. 5 Gold Stars
d) Recording quality and remastering are absolutely excellent. 5 Silver Stars.
I was awestruck by this version when I first heard it on vinyl release, and I have never tired of it after 30 years of listening on all media to date. I have no adverse comments whatever.
The Tchaikovsy is excellent, really vibrant and spontaneous. 5 Stars. I listen to the versions by Milstein (1959 stereo, Steinberg cond) and Leonid Kogan (1959 stereo, Silvestri cond) more frequently, however, for their silvery articulation. Nevertheless, I love to hear Chung's from time to time, for its freshness and recorded quality. A great performance.
You will cherish this CD.
His violin concerto in D was written in 1878, initially designed for a young violinist friend. Kyung-Wha Chung embraces the piece with a maturity and passion why belie her years. One of her earliest recordings, this remains an outstanding rendition of the concerto. Chung plays with such delicacy you recognise that this is no sanitised, over-rehearsed studio production but a recording which is characterised by its emotional immediacy.
Backed by the LSO under Previn, this is an orchestra in its prime celebrating a soloist with outstanding potential. It's the central, slow movement which is the critical litmus to this concerto. Chung annunciates the emotions and vivacity of the work with a filigree delicacy which avoids both sentimentality and over elaboration.
The choice of the Sibelius violin concerto is a good one. Sibelius was not without his darker moods; his later works are brooding and intense. Indeed, he simply retired and wrote nothing in the thirty years before his death in 1957. The violin concerto, however, was written in 1903, revised in 1905, at a time when Sibelius' drinking was causing concern and he was persuaded to move to the country to try to bring it under control.Read more ›
In the present climate of here today and gone tomorrow wunderkind violinists this record like Mutter's Mozart Cd is a testament to the fact that there are great musicians amongst the hype in first recordings .
Chung's playing today, now returned to the concert platform after motherhood, is even more treasurable but these early performances are unsurpassed and should be snapped up now matter how many other versions you own.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This recording from 1970 propelled the 22 year old Kyung Wha Chung onto the world stage where she remained for many years during which she recorded many well-respected performances... Read morePublished on 9 July 2013 by I. Giles