David's Review Corner
, September 2020
I repeat my well-worn assertion that if the music of Robert Fuchs had carried the name of Edvard Grieg, it would now be part of the standard concert repertoire.
That is certainly true of the three utterly likeable and unpretentious Violin Sonatas, the first half of six composed over a forty-five year period, the earliest dating from 1877. I guess he was one of the many who did not have any desire to join the fast evolving changes in music at the turn of the century, so that the style of this three-movement sonata would be replicated in the two that followed. That was made doubly strange by the fact that he was to become the compositional mentor of Sibelius, Zemlinsky, Schreker and Mahler, to name but a few, who were to bring about such major changes to music. Fuchs, first and foremost, wanted elegance, as you will discover in the First sonata. He had been trained both as a pianist and violinist, and with that background, the two musical ‘voices’ share the score, to an extent that the piano often dominates. If the First is lengthy at over thirty minutes, we move to light-hearted pleasures at the opening of the much shorter Second sonata. If there is a lightening of texture, he also turns the clock back for the Third, refinement again the motivating factor. There is considerable affection throughout from a duo whose musical careers have often been in Hong Kong, Warren Lee, a pianist in much demand as a soloist with leading orchestras, is a most pliable partner for Hyejin Chung. Completing her education at the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservertoire she has been was highly successful in leading competitions. A beautifully centred tone and impeccable intonation, the excellent UK recording adds the final sheen to her playing. We look forward to the second instalment. © 2020 David’s Review Corner