The Week in Reviews, Op. 122: Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, James Ehnes
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.
Joshua Bell performed the Tchaikovsky with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.
- Orange County Register: "Long admired as an interpreter of this work, Bell has here added the complete control over all aspects of it, including pacing and articulation, that previously he could only partly influence. The result was an unusually seamless performance."
- Daily Pilot: "...the acclaimed London-based chamber orchestra is headed by American violin virtuoso Joshua Bell, who pulls double duty by leading the group and performing in pieces himself. On Monday, the result was a refreshing mix of a well-honed classic — Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major — and some lesser-played works by the masters, Beethoven's Symphony No. 8 and Prokofiev's Symphony No. 1."
- Chicago Classical Review: "While the evening’s repertoire was routine, the performances were anything but, featuring inspired artistry and superlative playing from Bell and the storied ensemble."
Sarah Chang. Photo by Colin Bell.
Sarah Chang performed works by Brahms, Franck, Bartók and Ravel in recital with pianist Julio Elizalde.
- San Jose Mercury News: "Immediately startling was the thrill of her sound, a sustained tension that had a sweet ardor, even in the darker hues of Brahms' Third Violin Sonata. The virtuoso's tone was luxuriant and multifaceted in its expressive power and communicated solemnity in the Adagio that was so well-conceived, I wondered if the composer would have smiled in agreement."
James Ehnes performed the Sibelius with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "The Canadian violinist’s playing had the qualities of a potter and a painter. He molded phrases as if from clay while at the same time painting them with splashes of colors: high notes that flickered like light, vibrato as human as an operatic voice, lullaby-like lines in the middle movement. And he matched that subtlety with a self-assured playing, leaving the listener feeling like the challenging music was in safe hands."
- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Ehnes brought not only striking virtuosity but also genuine expressive intensity."
Simone Porter performed the Tchaikovsky with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.
- Hartford Courant: "Porter lit the work in thoughtful colors and brought fierceness to the finale that made it sing in thrilling intensity. She received thunderous applause and a lengthy standing ovation, and people were still resonating in the hallways long after the music had finished."
Yossif Ivanov performed the Tchaikovsky with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
- Daily Echo: "Having heard Augustin Hadelich perform this last month at the Lighthouse, Ivanov brought a different yet still brilliant style to the concerto, skipping and bouncing with an ease that disguised this most technically demanding of works. An uplifting Paganini encore was an added bonus."
Guy Braunstein performed the Brahms with the Sarasota Orchestra.
- Herald-Tribune: "The featured soloist Guy Braunstein performed with a bold style and a good measure of physicality."
Alina Ibragimova performed the Schumann with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
- Edinburgh Guide: "As soon as she picked up her bow, it was obvious she was going to be creating a commanding performance, which indeed she did."
Matthew Trusler performed the Sibelius with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
- The Upcoming: "British virtuoso Trusler unwound the opening thread of melody from his violin with sheer delicacy, and navigated his way through the stormy musical journey with majestic lyricism and energy above the brooding backdrop of the orchestra. Apart from the occasional blemish in intonation, Trusler conveyed the Finnish composer’s evocative concerto to tremendous effect. The sparkling first movement cadenza and fiery third movement in particular showcased the magnitude of his technical finesse."
Christina Day Martinson and Haldan Martinson performed works by Bach and Berg with the Longwood Symphony Orchestra.
- The Boston Musical Intelligencer: "Christina Day Martinson and Haldan Martinson showed their superb ways both with “modern” violins and Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor. Focusing in on their interaction was the highlight of the night. Synced and sparkling they were."
Please support music in your community by attending a concert or recital whenever you can!
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