Now released on vinyl following its CD issue in 2014, the ECM New Series debut of Myung Whun Chung features the widely-celebrated conductor as pianist. Recorded at Venice’s Teatro La Fenice in July 2013, the album marks the first occasion that Chung has recorded solo. In a performer’s note, he describes the album as a gift for younger listeners, as well as a personal thanks to those who share his love of this music.
Chung’s touch and sensitivity for dynamics cast a new light on familiar pieces - Debussy’s Clair de lune, two Chopin Nocturnes and a pair of Schubert Impromptus, Beethoven’s Für Elise, Schumann’s Träumerei and Arabeske,Tchaikovsky, and Mozart - as they are experienced in a gently owing sequence which also serves to highlight affinities between the compositions.
Although conducting now fully occupies his professional life, Chung (born 1953 in Seoul) made his debut as pianist with the Seoul Philharmonic at the age of seven. He later studied the piano with Maria Curcio, the last and favourite pupil of Artur Schnabel. In 1974 he was joint second prize-winner in the Tchaikovsky Compe on (where he performed Tchaikovsky’s Autumn Song, revisited on this recording). He then began his career playing piano trios with his sisters, violinist Kyung Wha Chung and cellist Myung Wha Chung.