Hyeyoon Park and Benjamin Grosvenor returned to the concert stage yesterday for a lunchtime recital at Wigmore Hall. The performance marked Benjamin and Hyeyoon's first live concert since March 2020, when the UK lockdown began.
In a review for The Guardian, Flora Willson commented: “No empty hall could sound more still than it did as Hyeyoon Park and Benjamin Grosvenor spun Szymanowski’s gossamer musical fabric in the third movement. Such impressionistic music depends hugely on the quality of its surface and in this performance it was practically flawless ... Grosvenor’s touch was astonishingly responsive – as supple in quiet, single-handed lyricism as in flurries of quicksilver virtuosity – while Park made stylish use throughout of portamento and her irrepressibly expressive vibrato."
Mark Valencia at Bachtrack said: “[In] the deft young hands of Hyeyoon Park and Benjamin Grosvenor [César Franck’s Sonata’s] candid lyricism sounded newly minted … The opening Allegretto ben moderato felt light and airy, with a hint of flexibility in the tempo … [the third movement] benefited from Park and Grosvenor’s careful shaping of the music’s restless unthreading and made way naturally for their energised account of the bustling finale … [Szymanowski Myths Op. 30] In Narcisse, Grosvenor’s piano part rocked dreamily on its haunches while Park’s violin gazed in rapture at its own reflection. It’s a long movement but the music’s thread never broke ... [Schumann’s Abendlied] was a tribute to the strength of Park and Grosvenor’s musical partnership; they shared its gentle romance with control, eloquence and a loving interlace of violin and piano that could hardly be bettered.”
Writing for The Arts Desk, Jessica Duchen said: “Park and Grosvenor are as well suited to one another as to their choice of repertoire, their duo wholly and apparently effortlessly in sympathy. [The Szymanowski] gave Park the chance to shine in a range of iridescent colours. Her refinement of tone in "The Fountain of Arethusa" blossomed out into a rainbowed intensity, and the piping effects in "Dryads and Pan'" which are treacherous high harmonics, were flawlessly projected. At the piano Grosvenor made light and supple work of Szymanowski’s complex writing.”
The hour-long performance was also broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and will be available on demand for 30 days on BBC Sounds. In accordance with Government guidelines, social distancing was observed and there was no audience present in the hall. The on site broadcast team included a producer backstage, a sound engineer, Martin Handley and one member of Wigmore Hall staff.
Photos © Wigmore Hall / BBC Radio 3
The Wigmore Hall lunchtime series continues until 26 June. Other artists taking part include Mark Padmore, Lucy Crowe, Timothy Ridout, Sean Shibe, Iestyn Davies and Roderick Williams.