Korngold: Violin Concerto in D major, Op 35; Nielsen: Violin Concerto, Op 33

Reviewed on Thu 13 Sep, 2018

Jiyoon Lee brings to the Nielsen concerto an inquisitive spirit, beaming fantasy and suppleness of expression that are wholly disarming.

On the evidence of this very fine pairing from Orchid Classics Seoul-born Jiyoon Lee – a pupil of Kolja Blacher, joint-winner of the 2016 Carl Nielsen Competition and the recently appointed concertmaster of Daniel Barenboim's Staatskapelle Berlin – is indisputably an artist to monitor. Her interpretation of the marvellous Nielsen concerto drew fulsome praise from Nikolaj Znaider – and rightly so: not only does she possess a formidable technique, subtly variegated tonal palette and striking poise, she brings to this life-enhancing score a memorable conviction, inquisitive spirit, beaming fantasy and suppleness of expression that are wholly disarming. The account of the gorgeous Korngold concerto is just as successful, the finale especially captivating in its spectacular pyrotechnics and twinkling fun. I should add that Lee is impeccably supported throughout by the Estonian conductor Kristiina Poska (an emerging talent in her own right), who obtains playing of infectious enthusiasm, strong character and delectable rhythmic point from the excellent Odense SO. Acquire with confidence!
–Andrew Achenbach