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Monday, September 4, 2023

Su Yeon Kim, Mozart Recital, Solo Piano Music


One should never take anything for granted now or any other time, for that matter. There are no guarantees. And that is part of what makes the emergence of pianist Su Yeon Kim all the more remarkable. Take the new album Mozart Recital (Steinway & Sons CD and Digital). Over the years of course there has been a good deal of coverage of such staples of the repertoire. Yet the superficially facile quality of much of it can be a sign that sometimes the music might be grossly underappreciated. An acceptable level recording of much of it is a given, yet how much more moving are the Simple Simon works not as usually tossed off, how much more they seem when given a detailed everything counts reading by Su Yeon Kim. It all is a matter of a kind of living vibrancy when Ms. Kim takes it all on with care and concern. Legato so needs to be there in the mix, as well as a just sense of pauses and none of at its extreme the ratatat machine-gun regularity monotony and such. So with Su Yeon Kim we get a living, breathing music here no matter sometimes how initially simple it may seem on the surface.

Generally speaking the LP era showed so many wonderful pianists tackling the sonatas with some care and energy, but for all the rest sometimes a kind of offhandedness. The other stuff sounded dashed off at times. And for the Sonatas sometimes speed was the byword. Not as much with Su Yeon Kim's full bodied recording here. Yes, revel in the Sonatas 9 and 12, then too of "Eine Kleine Gigue," where the intensive reading of the right-hand line is so mesmerizing as to bring us to where Mozart heard it and wonderfully so? She shows herself an intelligently expressive poetess throughout.

And so it is more or less with every inch of music heard on this album. It shows Su Yeon Kim as a master of her art and an extraordinary painter of tonal images. It brings to us a side of Mozart pianism not as frequently heard as we might like, the rubito articulate poet, the deep wielder of extraordinary subtle power.

Go here to choose a place to stream the recital in full for free

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