Notes and Editorial Reviews
For sheer finesse, this tilt at Chausson’s Concert is probably unrivalled. Tension, melancholy, the tropes of bipolar swing—all are there, but cushioned in velvet luxuriance dominated by Kim’s silken croon. The piano’s percussiveness has, as far as possible, been subdued to rippling, radiant texture, like the glow of old ivory. Dimpled with nuance, transitions from phrase to phrase to the larger units of composition are all managed—without finicking—in confiding, almost conversational, shifts that, far from impeding élan, spur it. The second movement’s suave swing, the suppressed sobs of the third, the manic tumult of the last are palpable but smothered in tonal opulence, an exquisitely singing dialogue. This is not the passionate
intensity of, say, the Collard/Dumay performances, early and late (Cascavelle 3082, see Fanfare 30:2), nor the essentially dramatic flair of the Oliveira/Koenig rendering (Artek 0013, Fanfare 26:5)—both, in their way, nonpareil—but an unpacking of sleek lyricism whose relish in the telling, in a sense, hold’s Chausson’s narrative at arm’s length.
In the Fauré, Kim and Denk achieve a melding of sensuous exquise and impetuosity beside which such scintillantly straightforward performances as the Mintz/Bronfman (Deutsche Grammophon 423 065) or the Osostowicz/Tomes (Hyperion 66277) seem one-dimensional. These performances join a select company to which one returns with growing pleasure. Within a spacious aural perspective capture is recessed just sufficiently to disallow congestion, yet close enough for vibrant detail (Kim’s heavy breathing is occasionally heard). Oddly, the piano seems a bit bottom-heavy, but the ear adjusts in the wake of so many felicities. Enthusiastically recommended.
-- Adrian Corleonis, FANFARE [5/2009] Read less
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