Sultriness and a gift for storytelling ignite this Polish recital

Sueye Park: Szymanowski

The Strad Issue: July 2023

Description: Sultriness and a gift for storytelling ignite this Polish recital

Musicians: Sueye Park (violin) Roland Pöntinen (piano)

Works: Szymanowski: Mythes op.30; Violin Sonata in D minor op.9; Romance in D major op.23; Nocturne and Tarantella op.28; Lullaby op.52

Catalogue number: BIS BIS-2652

This CD opens with Szymanowski’s Mythes op.30, the three great jewels in his small collection of works for violin and piano. Sueye Park and pianist Roland Pöntinen show a storytelling sensibility, vividly capturing the composer’s exotic sensual world. In the first, ‘La fontaine d’Aréthuse’, Park plays with rich tone and gives its great spans a flexible legato. The second, ‘Narcisse’, is silken and subtly crafted, leading steadily to the con passione climax, with Park rapturous in the heights on both the E and G strings. The opening of the third, ‘Dryades et Pan’, is an essay in dancing mischief, full of life and colour. After the arrival of Pan with his flute, languid musings give way to neatly played double-stops and frolicking harmonics, full of sparkling humour.

The sonata, written when the composer was just 22, is more down to earth, but has heady passions of its own. Park produces powerful, resonant playing in the opening Allegro moderato. She shapes the second-movement melody tenderly, is suitably dry in the multiple-stopped pizzicatos of the central scherzando section and performs the finale with verve. Her Romance is full of ardency, she races stylishly through the Tarantella and produces beautiful pure harmonics in the mysterious Berceuse. The recorded sound is close and generous.