This eleven CD box set from Korean violinist Kyung-Wha Chung combines her complete Warner Recordings produced in the period 1978/2000. Just to be clear: these are her recordings on EMI and not those released on Decca. Kyung-Wha Chung is an outstanding artist deserving of her elevated ranking in the pantheon of violinists and this set is a confident reminder of why she is so highly placed.
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 warhorses 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 color 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, humor, 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. The orchestra sounds and plays better in the Sibelius.
Chung's recording of two beloved Bruch (pieces) is filled with fervent youthful energy and at the same time fragile delicacy. Chung's ability to express the powerful energy not forgetting the detail always amazes me. Simply, the two Bruch recrdings are such a beauty that no word can describe.
One of the best classical cds!
Kyung Wha Chung does a wonderful job of expressing the small details of Max Bruch… All the energy is expressed, just as Bruch intended it to. A must have for all classical collections.- Amazon Reviewer
Kyung Wha Chung’s now legendary recording of the Violin Concerto was made in 1972 in the presence of the composer and immediately drew the most enthusiastic reviews: “… she gets to the heart of this music, demonstrates its toughness as well as its soul-searching lyrical warmth … Chung’s incisiveness compasses the fearsome virtuoso writing of the Scherzo not just with assurance but with wit and obvious enjoyment in display … here in sum is a great, deeply involving performance.”
Radu Lupu recorded batches of Mozart and Schubert violin sonatas with the great violinist Szymon Goldberg (regrettably unavailable at present, but watch for them). This seems to be his only other recording of violin sonatas with someone else. Kyung Wha Chung is a powerful virtuoso who can play all the great showpieces, but she scales down her approach to express the muted beauty of the Debussy. Of course, she gives a powerful, extroverted reading to the Franck Sonata, which demands such an approach. Lupu collaborates all the way in both expressive worlds. The additional Debussy and Ravel, from a 1962 LP, are tasty bonuses.
Continuing their Adagios series, the folks at Decca have combed the archives once again and assembled another soothing collection of beautiful melodies, Violin Adagios. This time the soulful sound of the violin takes center stage in a program of the most memorable slow-paced music written for the instrument. Opening with Kennedy's rendition of Massenet's mournful "Meditation" from Thaïs, the double-disc set continues with performances by legends like Arthur Grumiaux and Henryk Szeryng, along with newly minted stars such as Joshua Bell, Kyung-Wha Chung, and Leila Josefowicz. And all the essential composers – from Bach to Beethoven to Brahms – are represented, too, on this album in celebration of the violin, that most lyrical of instruments.Barnes & Noble