Jung-Ja Kim

Piano Music of Ravel

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Jung-Ja Kim gives a fluid and graceful reading of these Ravel solo piano works. She is a sensitive pianist with wonderful control that allows her to make slight, but telling differences in her shadings. Her gracefulness marks the Sonatine, particularly in the first two movements. The development section of the first movement builds in sound at times, but never reaches a level of real intensity that would grab the listener. The finale Animé is more concentrated, with a brilliant accelerando at the end. Miroirs is where her control and fluid phrasing really come through. "Noctuelles" and "Oiseaux tristes" have a fine delicacy that conveys the fragility of the creatures in each. The ripples in "Une baruqe sur l'Océan" are almost as smooth as harp arpeggios, while the repeated notes in "La Vallée des cloches" are carefully differentiated in sound, but still obviously go together, painting a very atmospheric picture. The Valses Nobles et Sentimentales are also very moody, even in their more active, dancing moments. Kim makes them more relaxed and meditative, avoiding any strong passion in their sentimentality. The recording's excellent sound lets the nuance and beauty of her performance come through.

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