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realviolinilover

Ysaye-Violin Sonanta No.3 "Ballade" by Esther Kim

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I doubt Esther needs any criticism, constructive or otherwise at her stage of musical development. She is at the point where she can stand on her own two feet musically speaking. If someone prefers she plays this or that differently, she should now be developing the skin needed to shrug off such comments knowing you can't make everyone happy all the time.

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I agree completely.

Esther as an artist is probably by now(or should be), pretty decided on the repertoire(subject of course to her contractual commitments) and personal interpretation she wants to offer her audience.

Watching in awe, her perform her magic, we hesitate to offer criticism of any sort

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I think she's much better than she was in 2003 too! I'm a big fan of Ysaye sonatas, and I've been quite sold on Venegerov's interpretation, yet I still find her (different) interpretation convincing overall. How much is she relying on her teacher these days? If she's already coming up with musical ideas mostly by herself, I hope she'll continue to develop them! What the musical world needs are violinists with distinctive musical personalities and Julliard grads who can break away from the Julliard mold.

Some specific comments, which she is welcome to shrug off :

There are two spots where I feel that she should play even softer to create contrast. The first place is around the first "Poco meno". (4 min-ish into the clip). From two bars before it, the following six bars with double stops (before the cresc.) can be lighter and dreamier. The second spot is a few more bars after that, at the "dolce con express." (the whole "Poco meno e grazioso" section until "a Tempo"). The melody comes out again there, and it should be achingly beautiful. I wish she can play softer, linger more and explore more there.

One last commment about the last page. Venegerov's interpretation is that he starts slowly accelerating and building up the incredible tension from "Tempo poco piu vivo e hen marcato" all the way to the end, taking the audience on a crazy wild ride. What Esther did instead is she makes the sections very separate and create a lot of articulation, which also works very well in my opinion. The slight problem I hear is that the very last three bars sounds a bit weak. I think no matter how you decide to execute the last page, the wild ride has to take the audience somewhere with a sense of direction. One option perhaps is just to play the last three bars as fast as possible without letting go the tension built up from "poco a poco slargando".

Thanks for the great clip and for bearing with my rambling.

Stewart

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I agree that her playing has vastly improved since the earlier clips too. I note that she was using the same instrument in the earlier clips. I do not think it is any coincidence that at the same time her tone production and cleaniness of right-arm articulation has improved, she is now physically moving around far less during a performance. I think Ms. Kim's improvement is definite evidence that excessive moving around on previous ocassions hinders tone production, clarity and accuracy. I would really still like to see her reduce the waist bends, but she is much nicer to watch now than even a year ago. I hope she continues to work hard on this aspect of her playing

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Thanks for the useful comments from Stewarts, Zinomaniac and Bergonzi boy.

I have heard that her current teacher Professor Michael Frischenschlager in Vienna is very DEDICATED teacher who teaches the bow technique, fingering, Musicology and other necessary theories to Esther. I believe he emphasizes "Intelligent Violin Playing". Although she has her own distinct violin personality, she mostly learns its interpretation from her teacher.

Yes, she used to move much in the past and it comes to her naturally. However, the movement should not affect the tone production or clarity and now she moves much less.

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