The Week in Reviews, Op. 108: Hilary Hahn, Isabelle Faust, Jennifer Koh
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.
Hilary Hahn performed the Dvorak with the Baltimore Symphony.
- Baltimore Sun: "In addition to her usual, impeccable intonation and articulation, the violinist offered phrasing rich in shading and poetic contour. Her tone was wonderfully juicy in the first movement, sweet and delicate in the second; the finale inspired a prismatic touch. I was even more impressed with Hahn's encore -- the Loure from Bach's Partita No. 3. She seemed to hold the packed house rapt as she sculpted the stately dance in extraordinarily elegant fashion."
- The Washington Post: "Hahn remains one of the greatest violinists in the world. The musical architecture is worked out to the millimeter; the flawless brilliance of her top register dazzles the ear; the rock-steady control of rhythm and accents makes everything seem natural and inevitable, and the cleanliness of her bow arm puts a little sparkle on each note. All of this was fully present in the Dvorak, but there were tiny slips here and there that were uncharacteristic."
Hilary Hahn. Photo © Michael Patrick O'Leary.
Isabelle Faust performed the Berg with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
- Boston Musical Intelligencer: "...she didn’t put on the flashy, oversized tone of many a violin superstar, but chose a measured tone with a steely core that cut through BSO brass outbursts that have swamped over many a lesser musician. She had technique to burn, making Berg’s fiendishly difficult leaps, rhythmic variation, and frequent triple stopping sound fluid and effortless."
- Boston Globe: "...the performance of the Berg did not speak with the full lapel-grabbing force this music is capable of mustering. But the evening’s fine soloist, Isabelle Faust, delivered an account whose hushed reveries and cool colors had a beauty all their own."
Jennifer Koh performed the Nielsen with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
- The Buffalo News: "There are meltingly lovely melodies and Koh, stunning in a long gown of gunmetal blue, played them with warmth and imagination. Her intonation is wonderful. She can repeat a simple phrase and give it a different mood the second time around. As she navigates quick passages, her head bobs and her hair flies. She even broke strings. Good theater!"
Renaud Capuçon performed Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Cincinnati Symphony.
- Cincinnati Enquirer: "Capuçon delivered a breathtaking performance of Bruch’s Violin Concerto in G Minor. He played with a big, romantic sound and beautiful line from the outset. The violinist poured intensity into each phrase, often turning to communicate with the orchestra, as if playing chamber music."
Jonathan Carney performed and conducted the Brahms with the Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra.
- The Morning Call: "One could tell things were going to sound special from the very first movement, as Carney skillfully built up the slow, curvaceous opening gesture into a full-bodied crescendo. Although the pure, compact sound of Carney’s violin could make itself heard when it wanted to, a few phrases got buried by the church’s not-so-ideal acoustics. Nevertheless there was plenty of detail to be heard, and the extended cadenza was masterful, chock full of finely shaped trills and virtuosic embellishment."
Elena Urioste performed the Sibelius with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.
- Green Valley News: "Her reading of the Sibelius 'Violin Concerto' was incredibly virtuosic in the allegro first movement, and sonorously heartfelt in the Adagio, where the soul of the piece lies."
Leonidas Kavakos performed the Sibelius with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
- Philadelphia Inquirer: "It was terrific to hear Leonidas Kavakos in the Sibelius Violin Concerto - it is, in fact, terrific to hear him in anything. That immediately present tone that toggles so easily between secure whispering and secure meatiness was all there. Interpretively, he sometimes failed to go deep, especially in the first movement, whose layers of meaning offer tremendous riches to risk-takers."
Karen Gomyo performed Philip Glass' Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Dallas Symphony.
- D Magazine: "Gomyo is well-suited for this piece. She plays it with a perfect combination of agility and delicacy. She’s also a great collaborator, blending beautifully with the ensemble and never forcing solo sections into unnecessary showcases of virtuosity."
- The Dallas Morning News: "Karen Gomyo was as compelling a soloist as could be imagined, dispatching the busy figurations with pizzazz, pinpointing high pitches with laser accuracy."
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