- Etude Fantasy, for piano - John Corigliano - M. Andriaccio - J. Castellani - Katie Hildreth - Caroline Hong
- Solo for piano - Lukas Foss - M. Andriaccio - J. Castellani - Katie Hildreth - Caroline Hong
- Sonata for piano - Carl Vine - M. Andriaccio - J. Castellani - Katie Hildreth - Caroline Hong
Caroline Hong Plays Corigliano, Foss & Vineby Caroline Hong
For her 2005 release on Fleur de Son, Caroline Hong presents three contemporary showpieces that test her skills to the utmost, and impress the listener with her extraordinary seriousness. The music on this CD is not accessibly tonal nor especially approachable for any neo-Romantic concessions; instead, these works are severe in tone, uncompromising in dissonance, and ruggedly unmelodious; while this may put off some who expect a pianist to include a few familiar chestnuts on her debut album, others may respect Hong for sticking with the repertoire she knows and plays best, without catering to the presumed tastes of the fickle mass market. John Corigliano's ferociously difficult "Etude-Fantasy for solo piano" (1976) is focused exclusively on keyboard techniques, and each etude is devoted to a challenging aspect of performance (e.g., playing with the left hand alone, legato phrasing, etc.). Lukas Foss' spiky "Solo for piano" (1981) is practically a study in staccato and cycles on in perpetual motion through a constricted range of pitches. Carl Vine's "Sonata for piano solo" (1990) is perhaps the most bracing, boldly dissonant, and angular work of the program, and yet it is also the most appealing vehicle for Hong's talents, particularly in its sweeping runs, colossal chords, and lightning-fast arpeggios, which are breathtaking to hear and enjoyable, despite their apparent atonality. The sound quality is fine, though the piano's tone is hard and metallic.
- Release Date:
- Fleur De Son
Performance CreditsCaroline Hong Primary Artist
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I bought this disc for the performance of Carl Vine's First Piano Sonata. Ms. Hong's performance is terrific - the Sonata comes across as a fully realized work of art and not as a mere technical showpiece. Hong's tempos seem broad, but are very close to Michael Kieran Harvey's tempos on the Carl Vine Chamber Music Volume 1 disc - overall timings are 17:20 for Hong and 17:09 for Harvey. Hong likewise give a high-quality performance of John Corigliano's Etude Fantasy. Unfortunately, the piano sound is somewhat tinny, which detracts from the overall impact, but not to the extent that I would lower the rating to four stars. The notes are acceptable, but I would have liked a more detailed description of the Vine Sonata's features, the circumstances of its composition, and its public reception.