Kim: Violin Concerto, Dialogues, Cornet

Kim: Violin Concerto, Dialogues, Cornet

     
 

American composer Earl Kim, who died from lung cancer in 1998, is certainly a figure in contemporary music one wants to like, and for that reason alone the volume devoted to Kim in the Naxos American Classics series, Earl Kim: Violin Concerto, is automatically welcome. Once the disc goes into the machine, however, listeners hear the characteristic leapingSee more details below

Overview

American composer Earl Kim, who died from lung cancer in 1998, is certainly a figure in contemporary music one wants to like, and for that reason alone the volume devoted to Kim in the Naxos American Classics series, Earl Kim: Violin Concerto, is automatically welcome. Once the disc goes into the machine, however, listeners hear the characteristic leaping figures in the opening of Kim's "Violin Concerto," which one immediately associates with mid-century serialism. One might think, "Here we go again," and then Kim surprises listeners with an outburst of minimalist gestures à la Terry Riley. Following this is some strongly cinematic music and an odd succession of other ideas, none of which seems to coalesce into a complete statement. Kim's "Violin Concerto" does have some moments of sweetness and is a good showcase for a violinist of talent; Cecylia Arzewski, erstwhile concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, does a fine job of making the most of the violin part. Conductor Scott Yoo and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra contribute a decent blend in support of Arzewski. However, Kim's organization of this "Violin Concerto" into two parts containing eight sections presents the music in a fragmentary and unsatisfying formal scheme. There is no discernable quality that separates Kim's concerted piece for piano and orchestra from 1959, "Dialogues," from anything else produced in a dry, academic, serial style and dating from that year. Kim's musical setting, with narration in English, of Rainer Maria Rilke's famous war poem "Cornet," features his most cinematic writing, as he grafts predictable dramatic turns in the orchestra onto Rilke's lines of verse. The effect with the narration, though, is rather "corny," pardon the pun. Kim was a professional and highly skilled musician who, nonetheless, swam in the currents of his time. While it is likely that a composer of Kim's gifts produced in his long career something of lasting value along the line, it is not found on Earl Kim: Violin Concerto.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/19/2005
Label:
Naxos American
UPC:
0636943922620
catalogNumber:
8559226
Rank:
369465

Tracks

  1. Violin Concerto  - Earl Kim  - Scott Yoo  - Cecylia Arzewski  -  RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
  2. Dialogues, for piano & orchestra  - Earl Kim  - Scott Yoo  - William Wolfram  -  RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
  3. Cornet, for narrator & orchestra  - Earl Kim  - Rainer Maria Rilke  - Scott Yoo  - G. Craig Houston  -  RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra  - Robert Kim

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