Sang Woo Kang
, May 2012
…I am particularly impressed by acclaimed concert pianist Klara Min’s efforts to spotlight works by Korean composers in her recording Pa-mun: Ripples on Water, released on the Naxos label in 2011.
…“Pa-mun,”…composed by Younghi Pagh-Paan, is a soothing musical description of wave reflections on water…The dynamics, superbly controlled by Min, are never overpowering and the ripples…never become aggressive either in speed or volume. This piece, as an opener, colors the rest of the pieces with a contemplative mood.
“Interludium A”…is a majestic later work of Yun’s, and here Klara Min’s interpretation skills are highlighted. This piece was executed flawlessly, and one got a sense of the improvisatory nature of the piece with its shifts in dynamics, color, and layers.
The “Piano Sketches” by Sukhi Kang are a beautifully constructed series of three short pieces that also sound somewhat like variations on ripples on the water. With her beautiful phrasings and strategic pedaling, Min cultivates an awareness of sound and motion as well as its absence.
“Prelude No. 8” is a wonderfully minimalistic piece of work built around a dense mist of sound, also with the use of pentachords that lend to its Asian sound. Strands of melody emerge from this web, separate and distinct. I admire Min’s control in this piece. The sixteenth notes somehow retain their articulation without becoming either muddy or dry, and the top lines are always sparkling and clear. This piece was one of the highlights of the set, and I enjoyed it immensely.
The third piece in the set, “Okbinyo,” has more folk characteristics than the other two last pieces…the piece for all its seeming simplicity, is arresting. Min’s approach in these pieces is understated and delicately expressive.
I applaud Klara Min’s effort to record and promote such fine pieces of piano repertoire by Korean composers. Min succeeds in presenting the vibrancy of a different musical culture. © 2012 Blogcritics.org Read complete review