Kyung Wha Chung – Con amore
Fritz KREISLER (1875 - 1962)
La Gitana [3:00]
Liebesleid [3:30]
Liebesfreud [3:13]
Praeludium and Allegro [5:41]
Eduard POLDINI (1869 - 1957)
Dancing Doll (Poupée Valsante) transc. Fritz Kreisler [2:23]
Henryk WIENIAWSKI (1835 - 1880)
Scherzo-Tarantelle, Op.16 Ed. Zino Francescatti [4:41]
Caprice in A minor Arr. Fritz Kreisler [1:39]
Edward ELGAR (1857 - 1934)
Salut d'amour, Op.12[2:57]
La Capricieuse, Op.17[4:26]
Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 - 1893)
Valse sentimentale, Op.51, No.6 Arr. Press [2:28]
Otakar NOVACEK (1866 - 1900)
Perpetuum mobile Ed. Gingold [3:01]
Claude DEBUSSY (1862 - 1918)
Beau Soir (Arr. Heifetz) [2:21]
Frédéric CHOPIN (1810 - 1849)
Nocturne No.20 in C sharp minor, Op.posth. Trans. Nathan Milstein [3:49]
François-Joseph GOSSEC (1734 - 1829)
Gavotte Arr. Meyer [2:45]
Cécile CHAMINADE (1857 - 1944)
Serenade Espagnole Arr. Fritz Kreisler [2:33]
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835 - 1921)
Caprice (after a study in form of a waltz), Op.52, No.6 Trans. Ysaÿe [8:18]
Johannes BRAHMS (1833 - 1897)
Hungarian Dance No.1 in G minor Transcr. Joseph Joachim [3:14]
Kyung Wha Chung (violin)
Phillip Moll (piano)
rec. Forde Abbey, Chard, Somerset October 1985
DECCA ORIGINALS 478 2660 [59:59]

It’s a pleasure to welcome back Kyung Wha Chung and Philip Moll’s 1985 recital, though what a pity that the pianist’s name is absent from the reproduction of the LP sleeve on the booklet cover. The re-release almost exactly coincides with Chung’s return to the concert-stage after a five year gap due to injury. Three years younger than Perlman, her return also rather coincides with his recessional from an active soloistic career. Let us hope that she can be persuaded to record things absent from her discography.

Back in 1985 we had a collection of seventeen pieces containing a high number of sweetmeats and habitual favourites. There is nothing glaringly novel here, just tried and tested fiddle players’ warhorses played with Chung’s characteristic elegance and expressive dignity. Kreisler naturally occupies centre-stage. The seductive phrasing of La gitana opens the recital with just the right kind of allure, whilst Liebesleid reinforces just how elegant and on the button she was. The Praeludium and Allegro is predicated on expectancy and tightly controlled dynamics rather than heavily vibrated heroics. Here clarity of articulation sometimes wins at the expense of declamation and heroism, but the former is Chung’s way in this case. The Poldini-Kreisler Dancing Doll is effervescently despatched, and lightly bowed, whilst she digs into the Wieniawski with flair. When it comes to Elgar’s Salut d’amour she prefers sweetness to gesture, playing it straight, avoiding heavy-handed emoting. She was always a first class interpreter of the composer’s concerto, as we know. Tchaikovsky’s Valse sentimentale is cannily vibrated, managing to preserve its lighter character without bathing it in treacle. Her technique is barely tested, or so it seems, by Novácek’s Moto perpetuo. And she characterises the longest piece here, the Saint-Saëns-Ysaÿe Caprice with great imagination. Many of these works draw from her the subtlest sense of colouration. Dance rhythms too play their part and it helps that her rhythmic control is so elevated. How good to see her back on the concert stage.

Jonathan Woolf

Great imagination and elevated rhythmic control. How good to see Chung back on the concert-stage.