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The Week in Reviews, Op. 79: Leila Josefowicz, Christian Tetzlaff, Rainer Honeck

Laurie Niles

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Published: April 21, 2015 at 7:59 PM [UTC]

In an effort to promote the coverage of live violin performance, each week presents links to reviews of notable concerts and recitals around the world.

Christian Tetzlaff performed the Beethoven with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

  • The New York Times: "...the superb German violinist Christian Tetzlaff proved an ideal soloist. All the delicacy, lyricism and magisterial elegance of the music came through in Mr. Tetzlaff’s playing. Yet, being an artist immersed in contemporary music, he also revealed the experimental strangeness in this piece, especially with his impetuous dispatching of passagework. Mr. Nelsons and the orchestra were with him all the way."

John Adams
John Adams. Photo by Margaretta Mitchell

Leila Josefowicz performed Adams's "Scheherazade.2" with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, conducted by John Adams.

  • Cincinnati Enquirer: "Adams' 'Scheherazade.2' is a Scheherazade for our time, and Josefowicz, Adams said, embodies the 'empowered woman.' ...Josefowicz was sensational in what is a marathon for the violinist. She entered with a rhapsodic line, playing with immense beauty, against a pulsating, atmospheric sound world in the orchestra. It wasn't long before her playing became agitated, as she dug into her strings and propelled her way through stunning technical fireworks, almost nonstop."

Rainer Honeck performed the Britten with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "The violinist, also making his local debut, had a matter-of-fact style of playing that did not belie the technical difficulty of the work. His flexible, coppery tone yielded to steely harmonics and dizzying runs; the final movement offered a surprising warmth or even optimism for a poignant piece that expressed the composer’s despair during the Spanish Civil War."
  • Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The soloist gave an impressive performance, beautifully sung in the first movement, sharply argued in the Scherzo middle movement, and emotionally intense in the finale, a passacaglia with nine variations. The orchestra also played brilliantly."

Alexander Velinzon performed Schnittke's Violin Concerto No. 4 with the Seattle Symphony.

  • The Seattle Times: "Both contemplative and assertive, Velinzon demonstrated a secure technique with a fluid bow and clean fingerwork."
  • The SunBreak: "Velinzon’s violin sang throughout: mellifluous, lyrical in many areas, soaring or contemplative in others, fast, wild or arpeggiated in still more, peaceful or powerful, but always with a firm, rich tone, never scratchy, which fit the music like a glove."

Alexi Kenney performed the Sibelius with the Santa Fe Symphony.

  • The Santa Fe New Mexican: "Violinist Alexi Kenney was an impressive soloist in Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, playing throughout with technical precision and meticulous intonation."

Gil Shaham performed the Britten with the London Symphony Orchestra.

  • The Guardian: "Shaham was technically impeccable, also drawing on an ample range of colour and articulation to encompass the music’s needs while being consistently vividly supported by Vänskä and the LSO players."

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

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