Acclaimed pianist and Ewha Woman’s University faculty member Kwiran Lee performed a dynamic and engaging solo recital of Bach, Mozart, and Schumann at Sejong Chamber Hall on June 16 at 7:30 p.m. A former student of renowned fortepianist Malcolm Bilson, Ms. Lee’s extensive background on period instruments shows in her treatment of the works on her program, even on a modern concert grand.
Attributes of her playing include delicacy of touch and clear interpretations, with subtle hints of pedal. This appears in the opening work, the vibrant Bach’s Italian Concerto, a concerto in microcosm. Aside from slight rushing in the first movement, Ms. Lee is precisely rhythmic without sounding mechanical, and reveals great command of the keyboard. Her sound is never forced or unnecessarily tense, especially in the spirited third movement. A relaxed approach to the keys and a supple, fluid tone marks her playing. Her performance of Mozart’s Piano Sonata in E-flat, K. 282 is sensitive and translucent, her well-balanced phrasing true to the style of that period. Her handling of the cantabile first movement abounds with nuance and feeling.
The same inclination towards understatement appears in the massive Davidsbundlertanze, which concludes the program. Although there are clearly no technical limitations to her playing, Ms. Lee’s instinct is for the more introverted pieces in the set, played with great warmth and intimacy. It is wonderful to see her range exhibited in the musical “dialogues,” as she transitions from the dreamy Eusebius to the impetuous Florestan.
Ms. Lee is also known for her premieres of contemporary Korean works for piano, many of which she includes in her concert programming. I missed the inclusion, but nevertheless enjoyed this wonderful night of music.Powered by Sidelines