PIANO Myung-Whun Chung ECM New Se­ries 4810765 ★★

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC -

Myung-Whun Chung is Korea’s most cel­e­brated con­duc­tor. But he be­gan his ca­reer as a pi­anist, play­ing with the Seoul Phil­har­monic at seven, tak­ing sec­ond prize at the 1974 Tchaikovsky Com­pe­ti­tion in Moscow, and ap­pear­ing in the fam­ily trio with his sis­ters, violinist Kyung-Wha and cel­list Myung-Wha. The pop­u­lar reper­toire for his first solo piano CD, recorded last year at the age of 60, is full of per­sonal and child­hood as­so­ci­a­tions which he de­tails in a note. Sadly, his han­dling of ev­er­greens like Schu­bert’s Im­promptu in G flat, De­bussy’s Clair de lune and Beethoven’s Für Elise sound care­ful, even cau­tious, rather than fresh. The style is gen­tle, the tone is of­ten lovely. But the mu­sic-mak­ing is of­ten hack­neyed and rather dull – not what his con­tri­bu­tions to the fam­ily trio’s per­for­mances might have led you to ex­pect. url.ie/kh67

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