[ Atoll Records / CD ]
This recording is an element of the First Prize of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition, won by Suyeon Kang in 2015. The competition aims to recognise and encourage musical excellence and artistry, and to expand performance opportunities for young violinists from all over the world.
Suyeon Kang particularly admires the two composers on this CD, Bartok and Bloch, specifically valuing how they pursued their own paths in music, mixing folk qualities into their compositions and producing repertoire for violin and piano that she describes as "powerful and daring, searching and rebellious."
"The pairing of works by Bartok and Bloch is inspired, music by a Hungarian and a Jewish composer that shares the same deeply-etched passion to which Kang responds so brilliantly. From the start, she catches the full dramatic impact of Bartok's 1921 First Sonata, as De Pledge lays down mysterious Debussian textures behind her. Producer Wayne Laird almost becomes a third player in the hushed moments of the Adagio, as the microphone reveals the ultimate intimacy of bow on string. A positively seismic jolt from De Pledge sets off a finale that unleashes some formidable fire and fury." William Dart NZ Herald
1. ERNEST BLOCH - Nuit Exotique (1924)
2-4. BELA BARTOK - Sonata No 1 for Violin & Piano (1921)
Allegro; allegro molto
5. BELA BARTOK - Andante (1902)
6-8. ERNEST BLOCH - Baal Shem (Three Pictures of Chassidic Life) (1923)
Simchas Torah (Rejoicing)
9. ERNEST BLOCH - Abodah (God's Worship) (1929)