Violinist Yang In-mo releases first Deutsche Grammophon album

By Shim Woo-hyun

‘I would like to make my own Paganini’

  • Published : Nov 5, 2018 - 17:30
  • Updated : Nov 5, 2018 - 17:30

Violinist Yang In-mo on Monday released his first album under the Deutsche Grammophon label. The album is a live recording of a May 3 recital at Kumho Art Hall, where he performed all 24 caprices by Paganini.

The latest album is imbued with his personal style, Yang, winner of the 2015 Paganini Competition, explained.

“I think it was possible because it is Paganini. If I were to play Beethoven, it would have been totally different. (In other compositions) there is always a given formality (one is obliged to follow). The fact that Paganini had never presented his own 24 caprices to the public allows me to not obsess over delivering the written scores as such. Instead, I tried to put myself in Paganini’s position, who wrote and performed the pieces for himself,” Yang said during a press conference held on Monday at Kumho Art Hall in Seoul. 
Violinist Yang In-mo, winner of the 2015 Paganini International Violin Competition, performs a Paganini caprice at a press conference held Monday at Kumho Art Hall in Seoul. (Kumho Art Hall)

Yang mentioned his recent visit to Genoa, Italy, in October. He said the experience in Paganini’s hometown helped him reconsider his relationship with the violinist and composer. His music was much more than flamboyant techniques, according to the violinist.

“During the recent visit to Genoa -- my fifth visit to the city -- I was able to see how deeply Paganini’s presence pervades the city. His music was coming out of even the hotel room. The people’s love of their composer was great. I was impressed by the way in which his music has settled in people’s hearts.”

His relationship with Paganini has been an enduring one, going all the way back to when he was 7 years old when he first listened to the 24 caprices.

“There is a Deutsche Grammophon studio recording of Shlomo Mintz performing 24 caprices. When I first came across the album, the very first track, Caprice No.1, I could not move onto the next track because I liked it so much. I think I can say that the album is my favorite Paganini Caprice album since it made me admire Paganini,” Yang said.

Yang also mentioned Alexander Markov’s live performance of the 24 caprices as his favorite.

“Since I was very young, Paganini has been more than technique. He has offered me channels in which I could meet the audience. The relationship between Paganini and me will continue to develop. I look forward to performing new compositions that are not frequently heard,” Yang said.

Yang also expressed hopes to play Schumann in the future.

Meanwhile, Yang is to hold a duo concert with violinist Ilya Gringolts, who in 1998 became the youngest musician to win the competition’s first prize at 16.

The “Match Point” concert will be held Nov. 15 at Kumho Art Hall.

The program features two-violin compositions by Sergey Prokofiev, Bela Bartok, Eugene Ysaye and Henryk Wieniawski.

“When I performed at the Menuhin Competition 2014 in Texas, Gringolts was one of the jury members. After I played, he told me that my performance of Caprice No. 1 was impressive. I was very happy back then and am still thrilled to meet him,” Yang said.

The upcoming concert is Yang’s last concert at Kumho Art Center as its artist-in-residence for 2018.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)