The Week in Reviews, Op. 181: Julia Fischer, Kyung Wha Chung, Tasmin Little
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.
Julia Fischer performed Henze's Il Vitalino Raddoppiato with the Cleveland Orchestra.
- The Plain Dealer: "For 30 solid minutes, Fischer held the house in the palm of her hand, enraptured by a performance that slowly transformed from sumptuous and lyrical to passionate and ultimately ferocious. If anyone Thursday doubted Fischer's dominant status, never will they make that mistake again."
Julia Fischer. Photo by Uwe Arens, Decca.
Kyung Wha Chung performed Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas in recital at the Barbican, London.
- The Guardian: "The fugue of Sonata No 2 broke down entirely: 'I’m sorry,' she said, flashing a wry smile, before restarting. Yet minutes later the mighty closing chaconne of Partita No 2 was breathtaking. Its introspection was only intensified by the dignity with which Chung had gathered herself, totally committed, in this flawed but unforgettable performance."
- Financial Times: "In this programme she took on Bach’s entire output of unaccompanied violin sonatas and partitas, presumably just to prove that she still can. And she can, in the recording studio. That much we know from her recent CD release for Warner Classics. The problem is that she can’t do it live, at least not with the kind of polish and fluidity that originally sealed her reputation."
- The Times: "She gave us some oases of gentleness and mystery, and even a dash of insouciant charm in the lighter dance movements, but the overwhelming impression was of a warrior going into battle, matching the ferocious demands that Bach makes — with the violin sometimes required to suggest three or even four contrapuntal lines — with an equally headstrong and uncompromising delivery."
- Classical Source: "If on critical reflection one has to acknowledge an uneasy and uneven balance between technique, memory and experience, there was no doubting the depth of experience on display here: Chung’s interpretations are the result of a lifetime’s reflection.">
- The Spectator: "This is Bach at its most bruising — an emotional assault that takes no prisoners."
Tasmin Little performed the Tchaikovsky with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
- Daily Mail: "A charismatic figure even before she places her 1757 Guadagnini under her chin, she produced an effortless flow of pyrotechnics in the tricky first-movement cadenza, ending that movement with a dazzling display of virtuosity."
Simone Porter performed the Tchaikovsky with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
- Edmonton Journal: "She is quite simply marvellous. She reminded me most of all of the young Yehudi Menuhin — the same kind of remarkable golden tones and vibrant smoothness, the huge sound, the sense that any technical virtuoso challenges are a figment of the imagination, the seemingly fearless ease of the whole thing."
Renaud Capuçon performed the Korngold with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
- The Philadelphia Inquirer: "...those gorgeously histrionic Korngold melodies that showed off Heifetz's luster were played by Capuçon (one of the A-plus violinists of his generation) with a more Brahmsian sensibility, chiseling down to the music's message with more rugged phrase shaping rather than the pure sound that Heifetz brought to the piece."
Pekka Kuusisto performed works by Grieg and Sibelius with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
- The Pioneer Press: "He seems an omnivorous student of folk forms and this weekend’s SPCO concerts might be the best example yet of his propensity for building bridges between styles, like 19th-century Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg and the fiddlers and banjo pickers across the Atlantic from him."
Juliana Athayde performed Bartók's Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.
- Rochester City Newspaper: "Soloist Juliana Athayde played as if possessed, powering through double stops and flying up and down the neck of the violin. The violinist evinced a consistent combination of intensity and refinement."
Ning Feng performed Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 4 with the Hong Kong Philharmonic.
- Daily Telegraph: "Feng displayed a gorgeous light touch with faultless intonation and deft bowing married to a sweet tone. The melodic lines were all smooth and beautifully shaped and, unusually, he happily added his Stradivarius to the ensemble parts when not soloing."
Patricia Kopatchinskaja performed works by Crumb, Ligeti, Kurtág, Biber, Lann, and Bach in recital with pianist Anthony Romaniuk.
- Independent: "...she plays with all the passion of a protest song and the absolute directness of a folk singer."
Leonid Sigal performed the Glazunov with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.
- Hartford Courant: "He played the concerto with warm, polished edges and we learned new possibilities with almost every phrase."
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