Naïve Records V8088
For his debut album, the violinist Paul Huang has chosen to spotlight the colour and poetry of his instrument in a kaleidoscopic recital of sonatas by Saint-Saëns, Respighi, Chopin and Paganini.
Paul Huang is undoubtedly a virtuoso. A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists, he is already renowned, and has been a guest at the most prestigious venues and festivals such as the Kennedy Center, Wigmore Hall, Aspen and Lucerne Music Festivals. The sonatas by Saint-Saëns and Respighi are also undeniably virtuosic, and among the most difficult works in the violin repertoire. But virtuosity is not the most important quality that Huang focuses on here: he was initially attracted to the instrument as a young boy for “its sonority and its wonderful lyric qualities”.
A subtle, refined violin – the legendary 1742 “ex-Wieniawski” Guarneri del Gesù – ensures a variety of colour and contrast for this vibrant Romantic programme. Paul Huang deploys a wide, generous palette of emotions bestowing a moving intimacy to Paganini’s famous Cantabile or Chopin’s Nocturne. Respighi’s too little known sonata vibrates from the initial Moderato with velvety phrasing and controlled interiority, while the sonata by Saint-Saëns assumes the virtuosity of its last two movements with carefree beauty. “I often compare a great instrument to a great painter – its countless nuances enable him to create and recreate his art in countless ways. This is precisely what I feel when playing this violin,” says Paul Huang. In the pianist Helen Huang, the young Taiwanese violinist has found an attentive partner who delicately enhances his textured playing. Their duets flourish in an atmosphere of confidence that has matured throughout their long collaboration and a shared exacting and passionate zest for chamber music. “I would like this album to reflect my love of the violin,” concludes Paul Huang. It certainly does.
鋼琴家黃海倫作為一位細心的搭檔，為這位年輕臺灣小提琴家質感十足的演奏增添了不少精緻色彩。他們在長期的合作中，憑藉對室內樂共同的嚴謹和熱情，逐漸培養成熟了一種飽含自信的氛圍，讓他們的合作能夠在這種氛圍中蓬勃生長。黃俊文說： “希望這張專輯能反映出我對小提琴的熱愛。” 的確如此。
06 October 2023