Esther Yoo (violin) and Jae Hong Park at BBC Wigmore Hall
A partnership made in Heaven
Some superb playing advertised as a duo but they truly played as one. Have the ethereal passionate sounds of these last utterings of Debussy ever sounded so fresh and improvised? There was magic in the air with the lightness and insinuating sounds of the second movement that were rediscovered together as though for the first time .The concealed passion and throbbing heart beat of the last movement drew this world – Debussy’s – to a conclusion in only thirteen minutes. There was passion too in the Grieg sonata but it was the heartrending intimacy that was so touching. Looking at each other and both on the same wave just waiting for each other to emerge and submerge with a continual movement. Each swaying with the music indeed as Chopin said :the roots firmly in the ground but the branches free to move in the breeze. I did not think the ravishing beauty of Jae Hong’s Allegretto could be more lovingly tender or beautiful but then Esther’s violin took over with different sounds less luminous but of even greater intensity. An exhilarating prestissimo was played with extraordinary rhythmic energy bringing these two Sonatas to a magnificent end. Rachmaninov’s Vocalise was pure magic as the violin gently conversed with the piano in a duet of ravishing beauty but also of extraordinary balance. Jae Hong playing with the piano lid fully opened but there was never any moment when he might have overpowered this single violin. Two superb musicians listening to each other as they created a single unified whole .A lesson in humility and artistry as they thought more of the music they were making together than themselves. Yankee Doodle was a way to release the tension that had been created by so much wonderful music making. Jae Hong patiently accompanying the hi jinx of his partner and every so often letting the brass band in his hands and feet take over ……it was fun but it was the desolate Korean Melody and the deeply nostalgic Morning Song by Elgar that stole our hearts.