Soh-Yon Kim and Maksim Stsura
The programme opened with Beethoven’s well-known and well-loved Kreutzer Sonata being expertly performed by two extremely talented young musicians, Soh-Yon Kim (violin) and Maxim Stsura (piano). The intensity and depth of their playing was undiminished whatever the tempo or dynamic of the work.
The rather lengthy first movement has implications for a concerto but this is offset by the much shorter second and third movements – the latter having been written for an earlier work but with a change of mind from the composer and fitting admirably where it now rests.
The second piece followed the Festival tradition of new work by young composers being introduced. Daniel Lewis-Fardon was in the audience to hear the duo play his Freundschaftsbeziehungen which translates as friendly relation but was a frenzy of sound. With the use of glissandi, double stopping and full length of the finger board on the violin along with full extent of the piano keyboard this seemed to me to be a challenge of technicality rather than musicality. However the execution of the piece was excellent and the composer appeared to be pleased with the rendition.
Schubert’s Rondo Brillant returned the listener to more familiar ground and a calmer atmosphere. Here again the playing was exemplary and showed why these two people who are each award winners in their own right can also work in partnership. There was an obvious empathy between the pair throughout drawing the listener in toward the music.
Kreisler is perhaps better known as a violinist than a composer but none the less his works are established in the classical repertoire. Today the duo concluded their concert with his rarely heard Viennese Rhapsodic Fantasietta – a piece which conjures up many different emotions despite its comparative brevity.
The complete concert was very demanding on the effort, technique and musicianship of the two performers but they responded as seasoned professionals and provided a great morning’s entertainment.