Pianist Yeol Eum Son makes her debut on Naïve with a stunning box-set of Mozart’s Complete Piano Sonatas on 17 March. Yeol Eum Son immerses herself in the limitless whimsical imagination of Mozart’s sonatas, and with this complete collection takes us on a voyage in a land of contrasts.The album has earned early acclaim from the international classical press, including being named Classic FM’s Album of the Week.
Rob Cowan writes on his blog, “Son’s style combines boldness and intelligence with fluidity, a sense of musical logic, simplicity of approach where appropriate and a level of interpretative freedom that harks back to the days of Artur Schnabel who, like her, never allowed Mozart to sound hidebound by formality…
“So – you’ve guessed already I suppose – my advice is to supplement your Mozart sonata library (be it Lili Kraus, Walter Gieseking, Uchida, Leonskaja, Donohoe, Robert Levin, Klara Wurtz, Maria Joao Pires, Daniel Barenboim, Glenn Gould, Angela Hewitt, Ingrid Haebler or whoever) with Yeol Eum Son, whose profound understanding of the music and keen sense of pianistic play will make the purchase more than worthwhile.”
Yeol Eum has always been drawn to Mozart’s style, in her heart and in her fingers, and maintains a special relationship with his music. She likes to translate from this language, which she considers her mother tongue, the incredible ability to express different worlds, atmospheres and feeling.
“His music,” she says, “speaks of both sunshine and eternal night, extremes of heat and cold, elegance and farce, Lolita and Madonna.”
The Korean pianist, a newcomer at naïve, has achieved distinction in numerous international competitions, including the Tchaikovsky, Viotti, Rubinstein and Van Cliburn, and offers us with this polished collection full of contrasts a Mozart who is “passionate, dramatic and operatic, and extremely capricious.”
This colourful vision of the corpus of eighteen piano sonatas, imbued with all the necessary clarity and innocent state of mind, leads the listener cheerfully from a Turkish march to a peasant song, from a serenade for wind instruments to a wide range of variations.
Apart from the fact that she enjoyed “imagining a troupe of singers, a plot and some scenes,” Yeol Eum Son also, inspired by the composer’s improvising talents, allowed herself not to decide everything before the recording and to leave room for the inspiration of the moment. And if she is quite unable to choose one single sonata over all the others, K283 (no.5), K311 (no.8), K330 (no.10), K331 (no.11) and K333 (no.13) “have all been her favourites since [her] childhood.”