The Week in Reviews, Op. 157: David Coucheron, Gil Shaham, Benjamin Beilman
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.
David Coucheron performed Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Through it all, the featured soloist retained a casual mastery of both his instrument and the material, treating every note equally with his deep, resonant tone."
- ArtsATL: "...it is a great vehicle for Coucheron’s playing, a fine amalgamation of sweetness and brilliance, with his keen ear for both lyrical and ethereal aspects as well as the work’s underlying momentum."
David Coucheron. Photo courtesy the Atlanta Symphony.
Gil Shaham performed the Barber with the Cleveland Orchestra.
- South Florida Classical Review: "Shaham’s smooth style, his clean playing and effortless technical mastery, proved a perfect match for the concerto’s pristine, classical grace."
Benjamin Beilman performed Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
- The Philadelphia Inquirer: "Soloist Benjamin Beilman played with his own kind of intensity, though I wonder if this concerto is his cup of tea. The quicksilver second movement and stratospheric range of the final movement don't play to his strength. His youthful conviction sold the concerto effectively to his appreciative audience -- which is not to be taken for granted, especially in a program that felt particularly welcome among those feeling defeated by events earlier in the week."
Ray Chen performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 with the New Century Chamber Orchestra.
- The Mercury News: "Chen led a well-defined, propulsive performance; his own playing was brilliant and incisive, and he elicited unity from the New Century players through each new variation."
Alexander Kerr performed the Barber with the Rhode Island Philharmonic.
- Providence Journal: "There are challenges to this amazing score, too, including a whirlwind finale that Kerr tossed off without breaking a sweat. Kerr and Rachleff matched each other beautifully, making for a really touching performance that made the evening special."
Rachel Podger performed works by Vivaldi, Bach and Tartini with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.
- Berkeley Daily Planet: "The music is agitated, including a fierce solo superbly played here by Rachel Podger."
Pinchas Zukerman performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 with the Sydney Symphony.
- The Australian: "Sustaining a bright, focused timbre and crystalline articulation, his eloquently shaped, well-proportioned account proved that a more Romantically-inclined style can still convince in Classical-era pieces."
Gregory Lewis performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra.
- The Chronicle-Journal: "He exhibits brilliant technique and control, shaping and revealing to us the emotional content of the music while smoothly moving through the technical requirements of the piece. This was masterful playing."
Frank Almond performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "He gave a stylish, colorful performance of the piece, despite several moments of technical uncertainty."
James Ehnes performed Bruch's Second Violin Concerto with the Hallé.
- The Arts Desk: "...a very fine piece of virtuoso violin playing from James Ehnes, whose performance of Bruch's Second Violin Concerto would probably have been the headliner in any other circumstances."
John Skorgårds performed the Weill with the BBC Philharmonic.
- Manchester Confidential: "John Skorgårds conducted whilst playing the violin, nimbly stepping around the stage, waving his bow when not playing, occasionally kicking his leg out to balance as he extracted more from the violin. This piece raced through different aspects of Weill's music, Brecht's musical theatre, Broadway musicals and so on, and at one point there was a jazzy duet between the xylophone and violin that was quite funny, even sarcastic. Every bit as demanding as the Saariaho, but - with a tighter, more concentrated register - Skorgårds' performance was well-nigh faultless."
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