That sunny dome, those caves of ice!
This is a gorgeous pairing, the Tchaikovsky gloriously swooping, gleeful and brilliant, the Sibelius full of sombre grandeur, a painting of a majestic landscape, indifferent to petty human concerns. It’s a match of Spring and Autumn. Kyung-Wha Chung‘s playful, ecstatic violin line in the Tchaikovsky is full of exuberance, leading the orchestra to follow her high spirits, dancing across the musical landsccape
The mood darkens with the Sibelius, and from the swoops, soars, turns and balletic virtuoso leaps and glides in the Russian piece, we move to an intensely lyrical sustained series of smooth phrases, a cold, clean, austere world full of soul and introspective depths, still reflections in dark water, cracking ice. It’s a piece which musically echoes Wordsworth:
“For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue.”
It is a tone-poem to the land, and Kyung-Wha Chung plays this with poise and a real spaciousness, those sustained legato lines rolling out to a limitless horizon
Kyung-Wha Chung, Violin
Andre Previn, Conductor
London Symphony Orchestra
Here is Kyung-Wha Chung with another orchestra and conductor, at an early stage of her career with the Tchaikovsky. I personally really appreciate the Previn/LSO, where the piece for my money takes wing and soars so much more ecstatically!
Tchaikovsky/Sibelius: Violin Concertos UK
Tchaikovsky/Sibelius: Violin Concertos USA