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Music Review

Chung Returns With Her Skill, Sensitivity

March 10, 2001|DANIEL CARIAGA | TIMES MUSIC WRITER

Kyung-Wha Chung's latest local recital, Thursday night in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, lived up to her high technical and musical standards and to our expectations. The Korean-born violinist has been a regular visitor to Southern California for the last 30 years. This time her partner at the piano was Itamar Golan, and together they gave a most satisfying performance.

Prokofiev's wondrous First Sonata proved the high point of this event through the authority and pungency of the team's wide-ranging performance. It realized most facets of the composer's passions and humor, and delivered all the punch and emotionalism of this colorful work. Both players, technically expert and musically sensitive, gave the demanding piece its full thrust.

In other works from the 20th century, Stravinsky's bracing Duo Concertant and Rachmaninoff's two "Morceaux de Concert," Opus 6, Chung and Golan produced stylish, engaging and rather immaculate readings.

By herself, at mid-program, Chung took on Bach's formidable D-minor Partita, which concludes with one of the great and monumental chaconnes in musical history. She played unflinchingly but this time without projecting the work's stature or depth. Chung met its mechanical demands and yet remained apparently unaware of its musical content. Odd.

At the end of the evening, Chung offered three encores: the Heifetz arrangement of Debussy's "Beau soir"; the Russian Dance from Stravinsky's "Petrushka," and a "Humoresque" by Dvorak.

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