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Kwon-Lim Duo – 11 December 2021

The fourth Perth Chamber Music concert this season, in the fine acoustic of St John’s Kirk with their excellent Brodmann piano, had the cello and piano Duo of Wayne Kwon and Victor Lim as quality guests.

As this recital was given in association with the esteemed Tunnell Trust for Young Musicians anticipation was high – and here exceeded by the highest quality music played with insight and passion.

Wayne Kwon, cello, and Victor Lim, piano, graduates of the Royal Northern College of Music proved themselves to be masters of their instruments, sensitive to all facets of the works they played.

Based on Stravinsky’s commedia dell’arte ballet “Pulchinella”, the five movement Suite Italienne distilled its colour, feeling and humour. The Introduzione displayed the Duo’s wit in both its swagger with Wayne Kwon’s cello lyrical – expressed, too, in the Serenata. Aria contrasted robustly humorous playing, and a witty unexpected glissando, with the noble section and plangent double-stopping. Notes flashed by in the whirlwind Tarentella, before the sonorous Minuetto burst into the joyous Finale.

Magnificent and of striking emotional impact was the Kwon-Lim performance of Rachmaninov’s large-scale Cello Sonata, each movement superbly characterised. The brooding introduction flared into drama, Victor Lim vivid in Rachmaninov’s huge piano part. Rachmaninov’s big tune struck home emotionally. The diabolic Scherzo was exciting, then the fervour of its Trio. Expansive warmth flowed richly in the Andante and the final Allegro was all ardour and heroic tone. They brought another of those big tunes to the grandest of climaxes, before palpable nostalgia and the musically exciting rush to the finish.

Bravos and Hurrahs from the avid audience in St John’s brought the Duo out again for Bottesini’s