The Week in Reviews, Op. 223: Margaret Batjer; Joshua Bell; Rachel Barton Pine
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.
Margaret Batjer performed the Jalbert with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
- Los Angeles Times: "There was occasional use of sliding microtones; one feathery upward slide made an effective close to the first movement. Otherwise, the 26-minute Jalbert concerto behaved the way most violin concertos do, with some patches of sustained song, plenty of virtuoso display points, two cadenzas for the soloist. The language is tonally based, and the orchestral part is far more than mere accompaniment and always alluringly scored (good to know that Jalbert teaches orchestration at Rice University in Houston). LACO's (concertmaster) Margaret Batjer...deftly handled the solo line's lyrical excursions and violin fireworks."
- San Francisco Classical Voice: "Batjer played the work with an engrossing combination of emotional intensity and technical fluency on a resoundingly bright Stradivarius. Performing with the orchestra she knows so well, there was a consistent sense of comfort and support from the players and Kahane, the type of support that can only be nurtured over years of collaboration."
Violinist Margaret Batjer, Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Photo by Michael Burke.
Joshua Bell performed Wieniawski's Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.
- Herald-Tribune: "Bell provided glowing violin tone and rhythmic dash, while leading the orchestra with youthful energy and skill."
Rachel Barton Pine performed the Khachaturian with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.
- Green Valley News: "It was in the second movement, however, where Pine came closest to evoking the sadness of the cruelties foisted on the Armenian people by the Turks and other invaders. Her 1742 Guarmerius del Gesu instrument almost literally cried out for these people, especially in the dark lower register possible only on such a fine violin."
Gil Shaham performed the Berg with the San Francisco Symphony.
- San Francisco Chronicle: "Shaham’s treatment of the solo part has grown progressively more ingratiating and soft-hued with time, without losing any of the ardor or expressive urgency on which it depends. In the first movement, he spun out long, intricately arched melodies with unassuming tenderness; the unaccompanied cadenza was a small miracle of shapely grace."
Phillipe Quint performed the Brahms with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
- Calgary Herald: "The finale was still better, as the music requires personality and distinctive characterization, elements that are strong marked in Quint’s playing. The rhythm and vitality of the music were direct and palpable, the end of the concerto building to a fine climax."
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