It was an evening of undeniable brilliance; the beautiful sonority and harmony created by violinist Hyeyoon Park and pianist Benjamin Grosvenor firmly engaged and connected with the audience. The long-established duo breathed in the music, opened it up and poured it out, encouraging us to feel that we were very much part of their chamber music world.
From the first note of the Mozart Sonata, they drew the audience in. Throughout, the two instruments indulged in a beautifully balanced dialogue, sometimes it felt as if they were light-heartedly teasing, showing innocent cheekiness. Benjamin’s feathery touch and twinkling notes playfully complimented the sweetest melodies strung by Hyeyoon.
With Debussy’s Violin Sonata, intense melodies and rhythms danced, twirled and intertwined, creating multiple colours bursting out.
If someone were to ask me to choose the most memorable moment in the concert, it was the Lark Ascending. From the opening cadenza of the violin – with that very popular melody which everyone recognizes – the tone Hyeyoon produced was truly magical; one could imagine a lark hovering in a far distance in a haze, barely visible but certainly there, slowly coming into sight, soaring and circling. Throughout this, the tone of Benjamin’s chords were deep, warm and serene, as if gently surrounding the lark. Everything flowed flawlessly and effortlessly, waves of emotions came and went. The last prolonged note, Hyeyoon’s bow ever subtly touching the string, was indeed moving.
Grieg’s Violin Sonata was a passionate lyrical drama, with striking contrasts between urgent and stormy surges and truly heartfelt melodious moments. Their sounds luminous and rich, artistic expression deeply engaging, and timing impeccable as if they were reading each other’s mind – what a stunning performance.
Their sweet account of Elgar’s Salud d’amour sealed the recital with love.