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The Week in Reviews, Op. 82: Baiba Skride, Joshua Bell, Ben Beilman

Laurie Niles

Written by
Published: May 12, 2015 at 9:56 PM [UTC]

In an effort to promote the coverage of live violin performance, Violinist.com each week presents links to reviews of notable concerts and recitals around the world.

Baibe Skride performed Mozart's Fourth and Prokofiev's Second Violin Concertos with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

  • Birmingham Post: "The Mozart was neat and crystalline, Skride’s bow resourceful and articulate in communication, her dovetailing with the orchestra triumphant at the end of the first movement cadenza. The Prokofiev brought piercing purity of intonation in an amazingly empathetic collaboration with the CBSO under Andris Nelsons (Skride’s old schoolmate)."

Baiba Skride
Baiba Scride.

Joshua Bell performed the Glazunov with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

  • Cincinnati Enquirer: "He played in the old-world style, sometimes lingering on a phrase to allow the sound of his violin to resonate. And what a glorious sound it was. The most demanding passages of arpeggios and double stops were effortless. The finale, a jaunty contrast to the other movements, was scintillating."

Leonidas Kavakos performed the Sibelius with the National Symphony Orchestra.

  • Washington Post: "The dynamic contrasts and contrasts of intensity characterized a performance that was alternately authoritative and wild."
  • Communities Digital News: "Mr. Kavakos’ inventive mastery of this work is a force that other violinists will have to reckon with. Confident, passionate and with a skill set that proved endless in its variety and inventiveness, he attacked this concerto’s wildly varying moods with passion and ferocity when required and with an almost nano-delicacy during other more intimate moments.

Benjamin Beilman performed the Sibelius with the Orchestra of St. Luke's.

  • The New York Times: "But this performance, strong and uncannily accurate, could stand proudly alongside any (other NY performances this spring). Mr. Beilman speaks double and triple stops as if they were his first language."

Augustin Hadelich performed the Mendelssohn and Haydn’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

  • Montreal Gazette: "Augustin Hadelich applied a single-minded sound to Mendelssohn’s familiar Violin Concerto, to the great satisfaction of the audience. This 31-year-old Italian-born son of German parents gave a stronger impression of mastery in a virtuoso encore, Paganini’s Caprice No. 5."
  • Toronto Star: "Hadelich’s playing was dainty and agile. He easily manoeuvred the rapidly ascending runs and ricochets bowing on the Allegretto, which started off slow but was bubbling in no time with hints of the opening theme."
  • Ottawa Citizen: "His musicality is easy but not facile, and his tone is uniform and attractively produced right up into the highest register. Hadelich tossed off a Paganini Caprice as a fast and furious encore."

Vadim Gluzman performed Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra.

  • The Columbus Dispatch: "Throughout Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, Gluzman’s characteristic intensity of line never slackened, and his technical virtuosity shimmered in an aura of velvety sound."

Jonathan Chan performed Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra.

  • KelownaNow: "To say the audience was speechless during Chan’s performance would be an understatement, as the man of many talents elicited a whirlwind of emotion from his bewitched admirers."

Please support music in your community by attending a concert or recital whenever you can!


From Paul Deck
Posted on May 13, 2015 at 3:44 PM
nano-delicacy ... simmering in Velveeta ... bewtiched admirers ... sometimes you really wonder what these critics are smoking.

I think the one who said "manoeuvred" did so just so (s)he could spell it that way.

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