Getting to the heart of Joachim

Violinist Suyoen Kim brings out the brilliance in overlooked genius Joseph Joachim's wonderful Violin Concertos

Composer: Joachim
Repertoire: Violin Concertos 
Artists: Suyoen Kim (violin), Staatskapelle Weimar/Michael Halász
Rating:  4/5
Genre: Instrumental
Label: Naxos 8.570991

Joseph Joachim is one of the missing links at the heart of 19th-century music. A violinist of genius, he was a close friend of Brahms, and Robert and Clara Schumann, inspiring and performing their most significant works. He became a difficult character, the limited success of his own compositions causing him some pain. These two concertos – Ops 3 and 11 – though, are worth exploring: they reflect Joachim’s brooding yet tender nature, and his fondness for the idioms of his native Hungary shines out of Op.11, especially the gorgeous slow movement. Kim makes an expressive case for them, sympathetically accompanied.