Josh Kim ’15 Serves Violin “Feast”

While planning his violin recital, Joshua Kim ’15 arranged his repertoire to resemble a formal dinner. He designed his performance like a three-course meal, starting with a welcoming “appetizer,” before going into a darker and heavier “main course” and wrapping the recital up with a lively “dessert.”

Kim performed the recital last Friday in the Timken Room, accompanied by Harvey Wu ’14 and John Gibson ’15, both on piano.

Kim began the evening with “Sonata for Violin and Piano in E-Flat Major” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as the “appetizer,” accompanied by Harvey Wu ’14 on piano.

The first movement consisted of a series of rapidly ascending and descending notes. Mozart’s use of repeating motifs contributed to the welcoming feel of the piece. The second movement was much slower and calmer. Kim and Wu played much of the music in unison, giving the piece a simple, tranquil feel.

“What I liked most about the first pieces was that [Kim] showed his passion for it. Both [he] and his accompanist were really into it, and it really gave the pieces body. [They were] full pieces with a lot of motion, and I can only imagine what kind of dedication it takes to give pieces like that such excellent delivery,” said Alex-Maree Roberts ’16.

Next, Kim performed “Sonata for Violin and Piano No.7 in C Minor” by Ludwig van Beethoven as the “main course” of the dinner.

“When listening, the audience ought to feel that there is no sense of comfort, and even the performer feels very uncomfortable. This is because Beethoven is always stretching things to the extreme — [such as] the dynamics and the tempo,” said Kim.

Kim portrayed the contrast in dynamics and tempo through his movements and facial expressions. When the piece was somber, his slow swaying simulated the feeling. When the piece accelerated, Kim’s face showed extreme concentration, expressing the urgency of the music.

“My favorite piece was Beethoven’s Sonata for violin and piano because it incorporated a lot of different techniques [and emotions],” said Claire Park ’16, a member of the audience.

The “dessert” and final piece Kim played was “Liebesleid,” by Fritz Kreisler.

Though the piece’s title translates to “Love’s Sorrow,” it had a very lively, flamboyant mood created by “glissandos,” a musical technique where the performer slides between two notes.

“[The glissandos are] intended to add ‘sass’ to my sound. It’s the most comical and lyrical music ever written. And therefore it is a lot like eating dessert: short and sweet,” said Kim.

Although Kim began playing the violin when he was five years old, he did not become serious about it until ninth grade.

“I think classical music is ingrained so much in history, and it reflects humanity and the changes that humanity has experienced over many centuries and in that way it is a very important tool for us to evaluate what it was like back then because music can say things that words cannot,” said Kim.