November 2006

James Ehnes In concert

November 1, 2006 08:49

Greetings folks, welcome to another wonderfully unselfish violin Blog. This week I had the fortune of aquiring free tickets to see James Ehnes playing the Mendelssohn, in of all places, Huddersfield. For the cultured among you this is in England, in the north east to be more precise. The orchestra was the 'Opera North', and Mr Ehnes was sandwiched in between a Strauss fanfare and Respighis Pines of Rome, and Debussys' Printemps. The Strauss fanfare practically blew my eardrums out, but fortunately not before I had heard James' superb performance of the violin concerto. From the very first note the gorgeous Stradivarious tone was there, and even though I was sat at the back I could hear every note clear as a bell. James seemed to be quite relieved when the first page and octaves were done, and flawless they were indeed. As for the rest of the concerto, I cant really remember it. Mr Ehnes flew through it with such dexterity that I was gob-smacked. Especially the cadenza and finish of the first movement, and parts of the third, I had never heard played so fast. Just one passage in the third movement sounded a little rushed, perhaps the orchestra wasnt playing quick enough! Musically it was a very engaging performance, but I still rate Gil Shaham as absolute tops for this piece. There is something about the poetry in his playing which is hard to forget. But indeed I was dazzled and entertained by a performance which sounded like Paganini in his practice room. Wow, anyway thats it for this installment, gee Id never make a writer would I haha

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