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The Week in Reviews, Op. 58: Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Fumiaki Miura, Leonidas Kavakos in Concert

Robert Niles

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Published: November 25, 2014 at 8:51 PM [UTC]

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.

Patricia Kopatchinskaja
Photo courtesy the artist

Patricia Kopatchinskaja performed Mansurian's Second Violin Concerto and an early work by Mendelssohn with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

  • St. Paul Pioneer Press: "...she launched her tenure as a St. Paul Chamber Orchestra artistic partner by leading an adrenaline-fueled thrill ride of a concert, one that inspired three standing ovations and will doubtless be one of the year's most memorable concerts in any genre."
  • Minneapolis Star Tribune: "Her playing was free and flowing, quite exhilarating in its airy exuberance and exquisite, delicate high notes."

Richard Tognetti performed Haydn's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

  • Gazette & Herald: "If ever a man played as if completely in love with his violin then it was Tognetti. Haydn’s Violin Concerto No 1 in C asks much of the soloist. Tognetti delivered with compound interest....The clarity, artistry and effervescence of his playing was consummate; one particular cadenza, with crystal clear, perfectly pitched high notes was spell-binding. And you could tell by the stillness before applause that it had washed into everyone’s soul: Unforgettable."

Fumiaki Miura performed Saint-Saëns' Violin Concerto No. 3 with the Utah Symphony.

  • Salt Lake Tribune: "He met the concerto’s virtuosic demands with apparent ease, navigating extended passages of high harmonics with near-surgical precision and singing out beguiling melodies with a rich, full-bodied tone."

Leonidas Kavakos performed works by Brahms and Respighi in recital with pianist Yuja Wang.

  • The New York Times: "... despite alluring moments — like Ms. Wang’s tenderness in the autumnal themes — they didn’t seem like a cohesive team."

Ray Chen performed works by Mozart, Prokofiev, and Bach in recital with pianist Timothy Young.

  • Violinist.com: "With the audience's cheering and thunderous applause at the end, begging for more encores, I no longer felt like I was at a classical music concert. Everyone felt free to enjoy themselves, the music, his awkward humour and the incredible atmosphere at the end. It was thoroughly refreshing."

Anne-Sophie Mutter performed Previn's Violin Concerto No. 2 and the Bach Double with her Mutter Virtuosi at Carnegie Hall.

  • The New York Times: "This wasn’t a performance you could relax through. It demanded attention."

Gil Shaham performed Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto with the San Francisco Symphony at Carnegie Hall.

  • The New York Times: "The violinist Gil Shaham always provides secure, thoughtful playing, and there was that aplenty in the latest round of his continuing traversal of 1930s concertos. But he and Mr. Thomas seemed determined to play everything as quietly and as prettily as possible, deliberately downplaying Prokofiev’s bite."

Simone Porter performed the Barber with the Fort Worth Symphony.

  • Theater Jones: "Porter played with a singer’s phrasing, taking time to breath between phrases. Her tempi were excellent and she (and Franco) made the most of Barber’s building and extended ritards that reach shattering resolutions."

Augustin Hadelich performed the Brahms with the North Carolina Symphony.

  • News & Observer: "Hadelich’s lean, silvery tone pulled the listener into the billowing phrases of the first movement, his high-lying notes achingly sweet, aided by his 1723 Stradivarius.... On the other hand, Hadelich didn’t stint on the technical fireworks when called for, especially in the fiery third movement."

Caroline Goulding performed the Mendelssohn with the Albany Symphony Orchestra.

  • Albany Times Union: "Caroline Goulding...played beautifully. She gave the first movement's cadenza a lovely push and pull of dynamics and tempo. Unfortunately, the piece started with the woodwinds out of tune."

Juliette Kang performed the Stravinsky with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

  • Philadelphia Inquirer: "The question of individualism always arises when the orchestra turns to its own ranks for a soloist, and Juliette Kang, first associate concertmaster, was sturdy enough in the Stravinsky Violin Concerto in D Major. Astringent and playful, the piece looks back on the baroque, an aspect Kang clearly understood, though as soloist she remained a notch beneath charismatic."

Vesa-Matti Leppanen performed the Mendelssohn with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, stepping in for Stefan Jackiw.

  • New Zealand Herald: "Concertmaster Vesa-Matti Leppanen stepped in at two days' notice. Eleventh-hour pressures occasionally took their toll in virtuoso passages, but Leppanen, playing from memory, showed an individual and thoughtful response to the score. The nicest moment? The warm blend of soloist and colleagues in the first movement's second theme."

Andrew Sords performed Bruch's Scottish Fantasy with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra.

  • Windsor Star: "His control and beautiful tone suited every bar of the Bruch work from the adagio of the Prelude to the frenzied, familiar Finale."

Alexander Sitkovetsky performed the Sibelius with the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra.

  • On the Wight: "Mr Sitkovetsky played deliciously fast and passionately, his fingers flying, and he was obviously deeply entranced by the music itself."

Please support live music in your community by attending a concert or recital whenever you can!

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