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Zoe Ward
Upper Sixth
Worcester House

Lunchtime Recital: Jonghak Lee

Lunchtime Recital: Jonghak Lee

Tuesday 22nd November saw Jonghak Lee of Wiseman’s Fourth Form take to the Music school stage — and he did not disappoint. There was an extra special element to Jonghak’s performance as well, he did not only play the clarinet, but also beautifully played the piano. It is an extremely special talent to play one instrument, let alone two, and Jonghak appeared to do so with ease.

After a lovely introduction from Mr Hills, inviting the audient to “invent you own words” to Jonhak’s first clarinet piece, Jonghak took to the floor with his version of Mendelssohn’s ‘Spring Song’. Felix Mendelssohn is a German composer, who wrote symphonies, chamber music and oratorios during the Romantic Period. Jonghak performed the well known song with expertise as he demonstrated extremely steady breath control and particularly lovely solo run with no accompaniment in the middle section of the piece. The song had a beautiful sense of line, and one could also imagine melodic singing overtop of the tune being played by the clarinet. The major key and vast range of notes added to the charm of the piece, and the delightful staccato ending finished the piece excellently. ‘Spring Song’ (Frühlingslied) was also known in England as Camberwell Green, being the place in London where Mendelssohn composed it! It is taken from Mendelssohn’s Book 5, Op. 62 (1842-1844). This book was dedicated to Clara Schumann, which ties in elegantly with Jonghak’s final piece- Prelude and Fugue in Bb, composed by Clara Schumann.

Jonghak moved to the piano and began to delight us with one of his piano pieces from the ABRSM Grade 8 syllabus. Firstly there was Allegro, taken from the 1st movement from Sonata in D by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This piece was performed a few weeks earlier by fellow fourth former Georgia Argent. Despite being the same piece, the two versions were entirely different, and each pupil interpreted it differently. Jonghak’s control in this piece was mesmerising; his hand curvature was technically perfect and he sustained a steady speed throughout the performance. Despite a premature applause from the boys of Wiseman’s House (half way through the piece) Jonghak persisted on and proved he was not done as he demonstrated faultless trills in the right hand, and flawless chromatic octave chords in the left hand. A lovely recurring detail that took place at the beginnings of the first and last sections was the unison playing between the left and right hand, playing identical tunes. Notably, the dynamics were also brilliant! A highlight of the recital for me was this piece.

Jonghak ended his recital with the afore mentioned Prelude and Fugue in Bb, composed by Clara Schumann. This piece was much more composed and steady, and needless to say with a Grade 8 examination piece, extremely difficult. Jonghak coped very well and his pedal work and control was exceptional. A massive well done to Jonghak who gave an enchanting performance on both the clarinet and piano!

8 February 2012

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