by Jeannette Fang
July 26, 2014
Boris Slutsky is not a fan of limitations. One would expect, on having the duty of giving a morning masterclass on the last day of a fully loaded recital, that he would be eager to stop on time. But with every student, he would get so immersed into teaching that the five-minute warnings were rightful annoyances to the adventure.
The bright Mikowai Ashwill began with Chopin's B-flat minor sonata, which he played with vigor and temperment. Slutsky likened the opening to Beethoven's op.111; not only did they share the same interval, but Chopin was a great admirer of the former. He talked about listening and shaping the LH, and urged Mikowai to solve editorial discrepancies by not only researching as much as possible, but to have the courage to make the decision after putting in the time and thought.
Eun A Kim followed with the first movement of Haydn's c minor sonata, which had sparkle and naturalness. Slutsky advised her to conceptualize her interpretation more orchestrally, to illustrate the contrasts and to avoid sounding like “romantic soup”.
The last to play was Hye Lee Kang, with Schumann’s f# minor sonata. She played with fire and impetuousness, the right temperament for such an outpour of a piece. Her passion was very satisfying, and Boris nodded to it, with “I don’t have much to say, you played with a lot of conviction, and a lot of color; very beautiful. What I’m going to say are little things”. He took the opportunity to talk about Tchaikovsky’s influence on Schumann, and to delve into more details of using vitality of imagination to enhance structure instead of detract from it.