This week’s roundup includes a version of Bach’s "Chaconne" that features not one, but 14 remarkable violinists. It offers a real-life love story between a singer on the operatic stage and a violinist in the orchestra pit. It showcases siblings who bring new meaning to the words “talented family.” And, in a break from our usual format, we’ll also take a moment to remember one of classical music’s finest performers who is no longer with us.
Q: What do Julia Fischer, Augustin Hadelich, Renaud Capuçon, Klaidi Sahatçi, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Nicola Benedetti, Andreas Janke, Daniel Röhn, Lisa Batiashvili, Lena Neudauer, James Ehnes, Stefan Jackiw, Rudens Turku, and Vadim Gluzman have in common? A: One remarkable performance of Bach’s "Chaconne" from Partita No. 2. (This is truly Must See TV!)
100 Juilliard students, and some very famous alumni (think Perlman, Ma, etc.), put a creative spin on Ravel’s Bolero. (Warning: You will have the tune stuck in your head all day. Listen at your own peril!)
They fell in love when he was on the operatic stage and she was in the orchestra pit. Metropolitan Opera artists Stephen Costello and his violinist wife Yoon Kwon Costello collaborate on "Salut! demeure chaste et pure" from Gounod’s Faust. (The look of love on Yoon’s face when Stephen nails the high C is precious.)
Violinist Razvan Stoica performs a classic guitar piece, "Recuerdos de la Alhambra" (Memories of the Alhambra), by Francisco Tárrega. Razvan writes that the "challenging bow tremolo" represents the water from the fountains inside the Alhambra. It is, indeed, a stunning effect. (Razvan notes that people often mistake this solo piece for a duet. I can see why!)
Pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason was scheduled to play Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 at the Royal Albert Hall in April, but, of course, the concert was cancelled. Members of her unbelievably talented family — Braimah (violin), Aminata (violin), Jeneba (piano), and Sheku (cello) — created their own version, which was recently live-streamed. (Move over, Von Trapps!)
Boulder Bach Festival Music Director Zachary Carrettín performs selected movements from J.S. Bach’s Cello Suites #1 and # 2 on the viola. His beautiful performance is enhanced by the stunning backdrop of the historic chapel at Sono Luminus Studios in Boyce, Virginia. Zachary is joined by Mina Gajic, pianist and Artistic and Executive Director of Boulder Bach Festival. (The two performers alternate, so don’t miss Zachary’s second appearance at 11:31.)
Violinist Gabriel Meidinger and cellist Toby Kuhn play "Vojake Sheja," a traditional Roma song. This is part of their beautiful series, Kadiköy Sessions in Quarantine. (This performance reminds us of the sheer joy that music can bring!)
Last week the classical music world lost one of its finest, cellist Lynn Harrell. In a break from our usual format, here is a clip of Mr. Harrell discussing, believe it or not, his role in the movie Cello, in which he played cellist Ansel Evans — a man stricken with ALS. In a touching moment, Mr. Harrell says, "If it wasn’t for that box of wood, I don’t know what I would have done with my life." Oh, Mr. Harrell, you've made all our lives richer through your artistry. (Don’t miss Laurie’s lovely tribute, which includes an incredibly beautiful rendition of Mr. Harrell playing Rachmaninoff.)
With symphony performances almost universally on hiatus, we've put "The Week in Reviews" on hold and instead bring you this roundup of online "quarantine" performances. If you’d like to share links of performances you’ve enjoyed, please do so in the comments or e-mail me for possible inclusion in a later opus.
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