Hushed anticipation suffused NEC’s Williams Hall as a diverse-appearing blend of music enthusiasts eagerly anticipated Inmo Yang’s great performances of Debussy, Janacek, and Franck on behalf of the Koren Cultural Society of Boston. The young virtuoso’s musical journey would leave an indelible mark on the hearts of all.
Pianist Yun Janice Lu joined Yang for Debussy’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, a prime example of his impressionistic style which demands a delicate touch, thoughtful interpretation, and a keen sense of harmony. From the very first notes, Yang’s impeccable technical command and a profound engagement won over our hearts. The opening movement, Allegro vivo featured delightful interplay between the violin and piano, as they exchanged motifs and engaged in a musical dialogue. Yang’s violin sang with both sweetness and strength, bringing out the varying moods with ease. His exquisite bowing technique captured the subtle nuances of Debussy’s effortless and seraphic phrasing.
Intermède took on a more playful character. With fingerwork nothing short of astonishing, Yang dispatched the challenges with precision and poise. The sonata shimmered like moonlight on water, with Yang’s violin exuding ethereal qualities. He revealed a deep understanding of Debussy’s unique musical language arching every phrase with utmost sensitivity. Finale: Très animé, thrilled with virtuosity. Yang’s bow danced on the strings with fiery energy, and his passion ignited the hall. He controlled the dynamics expertly, allowing the piece to ebb and flow organically. Yang’s impeccable synergy with Lu left us breathless in the charged finale.
The atmosphere shifted as Yang prepared to delve into Janáček’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, a captivating blend of folk-inspired melodies and human warmth. Yang embraced the composer’s idiosyncratic style, masterfully conveying the turmoil that roils at the heart of the sonata. Con moto opened in a mysterious and introspective tone, as Yang conveyed deep longing and nostalgia. His precise intonation and rich tone brought out the complexity of Janáček’s musical language.
The Ballada came across as a tour de force of chops and expression. Yang’s soulful take breathed life into Janáček’s haunting melodies and held us spellbound with his raw intensity. Each note carried emotional weight, and the palpable connection between Yang and the Lu enhanced the overall impact. In the Allegretto finale, Yang once again fully displayed his brilliance through the rapid passages and complex rhythms. A lingering sense of introspection informed the resolute closure.
Yang and Lu returned to the stage with renewed energy to tackle Franck’s monumental Sonata for Violin and Piano, a beloved work in the chamber repertoire, known for its symphonic scope and engaging depth. As Yang began to play, it was evident that he had immersed himself entirely in the composer’s world. Lu gave no quarter, adding power and warm colorations to the equal partnership
The opening movement, Allegretto ben moderato, began with a lyrical theme that showcased Yang’s expressivity. The romantic melodies and passagework soared with grandeur. In the Recitativo-Fantasia, Yang told vivid stories; each phrase built upon the last, creating an intense narrative. When Lu got the theme, she proved herself equal in commitment. In the Allegretto poco mosso, both navigated the challenging technical passages with aplomb. The Allegretto quasi presto, brought the sonata to a thrilling close in a breathtaking and exhilarating finale.
Encouraged by standing ovation the musicians offered Faure’s Berceuse.
In this night of musical enchantment Inmo Yang entered our musical pantheon.