I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.


#alttext# The Korean violist Richard Yongjae-O'Neill has recorded a variety of works with some similar style, from composers such as Shostakovich, Bloch, Offenbach, Paganini, Raff, and Brugmuller (among others). Titled Lachrymae, the most hopeful track of the mix may be from Shoctakovich's Jazz Suite #2. Je vais seul sur la Route is the first of four encores featuring guitar, and this one too, female voice. I became aware of Yongjae-O'Neill with his recording with Alte Musik Köln entitled Mysterioso, playing popular baroque works on viola instead of violin. I found his technique admirable, as well as his willingness to adopt a baroque sound by modifying his instrument. Yongjae-O'Neill evidently spends his time between teaching in Los Angeles and South Korea, from where you can find several videos of his performances (include the baroque works with AMK). This recording is an interesting one because I've been thinking about the works and the marketing. Who was it intended for? The music doesn't have any real connection, other than the similarity in mood and sound. Melancholy is either overt or can be projected onto much of the music, and the nature of a huskier-sounding melody instrument has a deepness and at times, sorrowful element to the orchestration. Listening to the recording in one sitting might not be recommended; I could see intermixing tracks in between more upbeat works in a playlist. And frankly, the character of the time period represented suggests candle-lit dinners. I think the music might be better suited for the appropriate mood in a movie or film with a tragic scene or the appropriate scene of tender sadness. Yongjae-O'Neill does a fine job as soloist in each track, but the music isn't ultimately my style. As a violist, you've got to be carving-out your niche, but I can't get past the "background music" aspect of the pieces chosen. It's more an indictment of my musical tastes than the performances here.

Other compilations include similar format, in the last 2 releases. I recommend the release on DG Archiv of Mysterioso with Alte Musik Köln. Below, Mr. Yongjae-O'Neill with AMK:

Venezia - Rare Fruits Council

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas op.10 1-3