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The Week in Reviews, Op. 90: Alina Ibragimova, Augustin Hadelich, Pinchas Zukerman

Laurie Niles

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Published: July 14, 2015 at 6:17 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.

Alina Ibragimova
Alina Ibragimova. Photo by Sussie Ahlburg.

Alina Ibragimova performed the Mendelssohn with The Academy of Ancient Music.

  • Birmingham Post:: "Ibragimova gave us a highly physical account, yet not without its oases of deep reflection. Here there was poignancy as well as Mendelssohn's specified passion, and conductor Edward Gardner empathised totally, relishing the diverse character of the period woodwind instruments, not least in Ibragimova's smilingly busy finale. What a joy this was."
  • The Telegraph: There were many wonderful things in soloist Alina Ibragimova’s performance, above all the chastely heroic tone she brought to Mendelssohn’s high notes, unflecked by any trace of roughness. But the pace often seemed forced, and the finale felt hectic rather than joyous. Ibragimova was so keen to reveal the troubled aspect of the piece that its core of seraphic sweetness was lost.

Augustin Hadelich performed the Beethoven with the Aspen Festival Orchestra.

  • The Aspen Times: "Hadelich shaped phrases like a sculptor in a fragile medium, gently laying them into place. He found pinpoint intonation at every point in the violin’s range and full tone even in the quietest of passages. His total command of technique reached full expression without pushing. He set a tone of utter refinement, generating excitement with the panache of his playing rather than displays of power."

Pinchas Zukerman performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

  • Boston Globe: "Pinchas Zukerman’s old-school Mozart felt like a tonally rich riposte to more streamlined early music-influenced approaches. But it also felt like a collection of gestures in search of a larger interpretive frame."

Elina Buksha performed the Tchaikovsky with the Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra.

  • Today's Zaman: "Latvian violinist Elina Buksha similarly sailed through the knuckle-busting “Violin Concerto in D Major” and triumphed over the challenging tempos set in place by the eager young maestro."

Sarah Chang performed the Bruch with the National Symphony Orchestra.

  • The Washington Post: "Sarah Chang, a frequent NSO guest, is a febrile, unpredictable player, and Sung not only kept the orchestra with her throughout but injected detail and color along the way."

Jennifer Pike performed the Mendelssohn with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

  • The Arts Desk: "(Conductor Lahav) Shani’s foursquare accompaniment kept Jennifer Pike’s account of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto earthbound too. No matter: the needlepoint clarity of Pike’s passagework and her gorgeous, smoky tone offered generous compensation."
  • Birmingham Post: "Her tone has a fascinatingly smoky quality, and what this reading lacked in fantasy, it made up for in energy. Shani accompanied stolidly, and in light of what followed in the Beethoven, you had to wonder how far that had clipped Pike’s wings."

Martyn Jackson performed the Bruch with the Todmorden Orchestra.

  • Halifax Courier: "A high point was the return of local violinist Martyn Jackson who was an orchestra member in his teens and has gone on to stardom as a soloist on the international stage. Martyn played the Bruch violin concerto, then took his place in the ranks for the rest of the concert as well as the party afterwards."

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

From Paul Deck
Posted on July 15, 2015 at 1:52 AM
Did two reviewers really call the same violinist's tone "smoky" without consulting the other? At least "foursquare accompaniment" was changed to "accompanied stolidly" (or vice versa).
From Laurie Niles
Posted on July 16, 2015 at 6:38 PM
I noticed that, too, Paul! I wonder what made it so universally "smoky"-sounding!

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