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Violin veteran, 64, tackles Bach sonatas for the first time

Ever since her return to the stage in November after a five-year absence, Kyung Wha Chung has been talking of playing the Bach sonatas and partitas for solo violin, a summit she has never approached before.

She describes the venture as ‘ a personal confession of my life’ and expects to record the set for Decca. Performances will being May 15 in Seoul. Details here.

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  1. Oh yes !!! how we need another set of Bach violin music !!! and when you read it
    is the Bible of the violin repertory you notice the baloney is being sliced to reveal at last how serious the fiddle
    player has become . It took this long to get to play Bach and the dances ??To play this music as some
    sort of personal confession of ones’ life is an odd way to present this music . One hopes it is not Ms. Chung
    speaking and the writing is solely the nonsense of Do Je-hae .

  2. David in Cincinnati says:

    A Chung recording of the Bach! I’d guess she studied these with Ivan Galamian at Juilliard, given his famous edition, though I know another Juilliard student who studiously ignored his fingering, and maybe also much of his discipline. But studying these and making them your own are completely different endeavors. I can understand the possibilities for “a personal confession” within the compass of these great works of art. People only distantly familiar with this music may also understand after hearing Chung’s performance.

  3. Kenneth Conway says:

    Ariel shrieks: “Oh yes !!! how we need another set of Bach violin music !!!”

    My reply: “When the violinist is Kyung Wha Chung, well then, yes, we do.”

  4. Few things in the arts are really “deathless”, but the Bach solo violin sonatas and partitas are among them. I admire the humility of a successful concert artist who ascertains that she isn’t ready to record them until she is in her 60′s.
    Incidentally, the great Joseph Szigeti made recordings of the Bach sonatas before and after World War II. In the recordings made after the war, one can feel the imprint of the Holocaust. At least I think so, and many others do, too.

  5. Nathan Milstein’s second set of Bach Sonatas and Partitas for unaccompanied violin was recorded when he was in his seventies. I prefer this set to his earlier version which I think he recorded in his forties.

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