The Week in Reviews, Op. 169: Hilary Hahn, Christian Tetzlaff, Alina Ibragimova
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.
Hilary Hahn performed the Mendelssohn with the National Symphony Orchestra.
- Washington Classical Review: "The high point was the feather-light finale, reminiscent of the composer’s love of delicate scherzos sprinkled with fairy dust, and therefore fitting in best with the rest of the program. Set at a tempo that was quick but never frenetic, here was playing worthy of the ovation it received. Hahn acknowledged the audience response with an encore, the Gigue from Bach’s Violin Partita in E Major."
- Washington Post: "I’ve come to think of Hahn as one of the funnest violinists around. Her projection of cool mastery may distract some listeners from her knack with the lighter side of the standard repertory, which she makes searing and memorable without losing an inner sense of delight. Her secret: She does not confuse seriousness with earnestness. She invests in each luminous note that falls from her fingers, but she never tries to oversell what she is playing and is happy to let it laugh — for instance, artlessly throwing off the little figures in the last movement, giving the piece her own distinctive, even conversational stamp."
Christian Tetzlaff performed works by Beethoven, Bartok, Mozart and Schubert, in recital with pianist Lars Vogt.
- The Boston Musical Intelligencer: "His playing is free, underived, axiomatic, and honest. His approach is at once materially cerebral and anti-computerized—a marriage between function and sound. For him, beauty is not linked to perfection, and neither is it a fragile vase."
Alina Ibragimova performed works by Hartmann and Bach with the Scottish Ensemble.
- The Herald: "Karl Amadeus Hartmann's Concerto Funebre is a virtuosic 20 minutes, at once exquisite and terrifying. Her bowing arm mesmerisingly balletic in its fluidity, every tiny harmonic Ibragimova played was absolutely clear and distinct in the interplay between ensemble and soloist."
Maxim Vengerov performed the Brahms with the Sydney Symphony.
- The Sydney Morning Herald: "Vengerov's performance was in the great 20th century Russian tradition where strength of tone projection and a characteristic expressive approach dominate."<
Ray Chen performed the Bruch with the Bamberg Symphony.
- Los Angeles Times: "Whereas Chen’s heated virtuoso stance was too hot for Sibelius last month at Disney Hall, his thick, sustained tone was more suited to the orthodox Romanticisms of Bruch. With his usual ebullience, Chen added the Gavotte and Rondeau from J.S. Bach’s Partita No. 3 as a solo encore."
William Hagen performed Williams' The Lark Ascending with the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra.
- Violinist.com: "He also produced some exquisite moments of quiet...
Ju Hyung Shin performed the Sibelius with the New World Symphony.
- South Florida Classical Review: "The most impressive playing came at the end of the concert, with Ju Hyung Shin’s sizzling, atmospheric performance of the Sibelius Violin Concerto....unlike many young violinists who can scale the concerto’s difficulties, he also captured the work’s unique mood."
Veronika Eberle performed the Berg with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.
- Forbes: "Eberle...wasn’t afraid of un-pretty tones, but a greater daring and variety with hushed, nuanced, and lighter touches would have set well with my ears. If it weren’t for the precision in the execution on the part of soloist and orchestra, one would never have landed at minor interpretative quibbles – but that’s the curse of perfection: It can force a critique to find other cracks onto which it can latch."
Diana Cohen performed Bartok's First Violin Concerto with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
- Calgary Herald: "Cohen was an excellent soloist in the concerto, her sweet tone just right for the weaving opening movement, and the amusing elements of the fast movement tossed off with aplomb."
Joseph Swensen performed Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 3 with the the Northwest Sinfonietta.
- The News Tribune: "One of Swenson’s unusual skills is to play a solo line with the architectural long view of a conductor. Another, no less appreciated, is the ability to eschew lengthy podium talks and let the music speak for itself. Swinging happily into Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major, Swensen encouraged the orchestra in a delightfully spatial sound — from far left first violins visually echoed by central winds, or a physical sweep from far right basses around to the horns."
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