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  • chrisdumigan

Kyuhee Park : - Guitar Recital : Laureate Series: CD

D.SCARLATTI: Sonata in D Major K178; Sonata in Dm K32 ; Sonata in G Major K14: DIABELLI: Sonata in A Major Op29 No2 : L.BERKELEY: Sonatina for Guitar Op52 No1; MALATS : Serenata Espanola: BARRIOS – MANGORE: Un Sueno en la Floresta: Vals Op8 No4: LOPEZ- LOPEZ: Impresiones y Paisajes.

Kyuhee Park

Naxos : 8.573225

South Korean born Kyuhee Park came to this first recording with no less than eight first prizes and two second prizes in guitar competitions from 2005 , when she was nine, to 2014 when she was a mere 18 years of age!

This Naxos Laureate Series recital follows on from many in this most interesting and varied series and like the others I have come across , the recording is very clear and close, but not too much so , as you don’t get string squeaks or the suchlike, just a clear sound throughout the 60 and a bit minutes of this CD. The three Scarlatti Sonatas are everything you might expect , full of rhythm, fast running passages, interesting harmonies and all three entirely different from each other , and therefore always a good start to a recital programme, especially the way that she manages to make these pieces beautifully clear and not sounding too difficult, ever though I know they are!

The Diabelli Sonata is the arrangement of Bream’s that many will know. This 18 + four -movement work is a substantial piece that really has many fine moments and is still a relative rarity on CD, and on the recital platform, which is a pity at it is utterly successful where other extended works from this period can sometimes sound a little vacuous , or just a bunch of note – spinning exercises.

We stay with Julian Bream for the Lennox Berkeley Sonatina one of the very few pieces Berkeley wrote for our instrument, and quite a handful, in spite of Bream’s intervention at numerous places where Berkeley might have been expecting too much from our instrument. The first movement is taken at a considerable pace, but works beautifully and Kyuhee Park flies through the considerable amount of runs effortlessly, whilst letting the emotional moments take full effect. The very serious 2nd movement is handled very well and the final Rondo dances beautifully from the outset and leads to a very exciting coda that she brings off wonderfully.

Then we get Tarrega’s famous arrangement of Malat’s Serenata Espanola with just the right amount of rubato in the places where it needs it, and lots of flying round the fingerboard when it doesn’t! The two wonderful Barrios pieces are most beautifully played, with the ‘Dream in the Dell’ sounding as good as it can do, with an even and effortless tremolo that sounds, as it should, like a continuous melody rather than a fast bunch of the same note with slight gaps, as it unfortunately can sound like with other performers .This is one of the best versions I have heard of this haunting work. As for the virtuosic Vals Op8 No4, I can only say that it lilts and dances around as it should and in spite Barrios’ technically hugely difficult sections, she makes it sound quite easy!

AS for the final piece, by Jose Manuel Lopez – Lopez, a Spanish composer whose total number of guitar solo works number only 3 , we enter utterly contemporary territory, with a great deal of effects , all effortless to our player, and indeed it sounds very tricky from start to finish, but one has to be a lover of this type of writing to avoid skipping the track, but as it is only a little under 6 minutes in what is a little over an hour in total, it shouldn’t make a difference to any lovers of the rest of this material. Indeed it does show the listener just how versatile this wonderful guitarist really is , as she can play anything from the baroque period, through the classical , and the romantic to the modern , and make it all sound as it should.

This is altogether a beautiful CD, as are all of the Naxos Laureate series that I have come across (and that is a great many) , and so I can heartily recommend this as being utterly worth your attention.

Chris Dumigan

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