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 Update me on new releases by Kang

Dong-Suk Kang (b1954)

Readers of the right age may recall Dong-Suk Kang’s high profile during the 1980s. With several prominent competition prizes and international débuts under his belt, his career went from strength to strength in the early CD era and his recordings won awards including the Grand Prix du Disque.

Kang’s playing is easily identifiable as being of the strong, post-Romantic American school: his major training was with Galamian as one of the first flush of Far Eastern string players to emerge after World War II. His tone has great depth and, perhaps more than some of his contemporaries, extraordinary ease and fluency of which technique is the servant, making his recordings of late-Romantic and twentieth-century music particularly compelling. Isaac Stern’s observation upon Korean artists is revealing: ‘They are called the Italians of the Orient—they are cruder, warmer, more loutish… The freedom, turbulence, and passion show in their music making.’ (New York Times magazine, 1980).

All the recordings selected here display Kang’s attributes well. They include superbly poised and atmospheric concertos by Sibelius (1989) and Walton (1997), the former being part of a complete cycle of Sibelius’s music for violin and orchestra undertaken by Kang. The Walton contains some of his most exciting playing but is softer-edged (including some perfectly-judged portamenti in the first movement, for example) than Heifetz’s famous 1950 recording with the composer.



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