The Week in Reviews, Op. 116: Chad Hoopes, Julian Rachlin, Sergey Khachatryan
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.
Chad Hoopes performed works by Dvorák, Prokofiev, Ravel, and Franck in recital with pianist David Fung.
- The Washington Post: "Hoopes made his Kennedy Center debut at the Terrace Theater on Thursday evening and displayed not only the jaw-dropping virtuosity that’s become almost the norm in young professionals but also a gift for dramatic pacing and a distinctive, convincing sense of poetry."
Julian Rachlin performed Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Orchestre National de Paris.
- The Washington Post: "...it was Shostakovich’s first violin concerto that was the real tour de force. Rachlin, the soloist, is a small, contained firebrand of a man onstage, and he eased his way into the opening movement with playing that was almost painful in its muted restraint, over the humid, brooding chords of the orchestra, all given extra power by Gatti, who visually conveys such a sense of physical force that his restrained gestures communicate a sense of coiled power waiting to strike. The second movement then uncurled into some of the most biting fierce Shostakovich playing I can remember hearing. And when Rachlin got going into the final cadenza, he became a wild thing, a kind of inspired mad scientist in a monologue both profound and terrifying, until the orchestra finally chimed in with ferocious clashes of regretful understanding."
Sergey Khachatryan performed the Sibelius with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
- The Baltimore Sun: "This was a sterling performance in technique, to be sure, but, more importantly, in terms of interpretive depth. The hushed opening made that clear; Khachatryan coaxed his first notes as if from some ethereal realm."
performed Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 4 with the European Union Chamber Orchestra.
- Somerset County Gazette: "Playing her Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin, made in 1757, she stunned the audience with sheer brilliance and such world-class artistry that is rarely experienced in Taunton. The storming, standing ovation that followed was exhilarating."
Vadim Gluzman performed the Tchaikovsky with the Reading Symphony Orchestra.
- The Morning Call: "This performance was one of those rare gems where everybody – orchestra, conductor, and soloist - was on the same page, sharing a chemistry that was sheer magic to hear. Gluzman was simply fabulous, giving this overwhelmingly lyrical work its due with a big, golden, singing tone."
Matthew Trusler performed Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra.
- The Argus: "A touch of gypsy fireside fiddle warmed the Dome as Matthew Trusler put a torch to combustible elements in Prokofiev’s daunting Violin Concerto No 1. Trusler’s musical compass tracked the twists and turns of the score with confidence and finesse, restrained but firm in attack and capturing Prokofiev’s shrieks from the top register as well as more mellow moments."
Nicola Benedetti performed Szymanowski's Second Violin Concerto with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
- The Arts Desk: "For a piece more often presented in hazy Impressionist hues, this dynamic and cleanly contoured version proved a welcome alternative."
Caroline Goulding performed Paganini's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
- The Dallas Morning News: "Caroline Goulding displayed gleaming tone and a lot of impressive virtuosity. Single lines skittered about with often dazzling facility, yet more aria-like music was spun out with a fine singer’s command of legato and contour. Double-stops were less consistent, including some painful harmonics in the finale."
- Star-Telegram: "Goulding made an amazing impression with both her technical skill and her lyrical gift. The only complaint might be that her first-movement cadenza overstayed its welcome."
Renaud Capuçon performed the Berg with the London Symphony Orchestra.
- Music OMH: "Soloist Renaud Capuçon gave a sensitive and refined performance, but wasn’t helped by an orchestral balance that featured some overloud brass in the final movement. The result was a rather cool rendition of Berg’s expressive and moving concerto."
Angelo Xiang Yu performed Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Alabama Symphony.
- Arts BHAM: "A sensitive and lyrical musician, Yu projected beautifully in Jemison Concert Hall, weaving in and around the orchestra at will. At times in the opening movement, his impetuousity led to slight ensemble discrepancies, but as the work progressed, it became increasingly clear that here was a true virtuoso. Soft soaring high melodies rang fervently in the Andante. Gutsy double-stops and repeated down bows in the gritty finale exaggerated Prokofiev’s acerbic wit."
James Ehnes performed the Beethoven with the New York Philharmonic.
- The New York Times: "The first movement, especially, went at an easygoing lope, and Mr. Ehnes played cleanly and displayed ample virtuosity of a relaxed sort. True, there was precious little Beethovenian intensity or fire, but the audience evidently found enough excitement to spur a raucous ovation."
- New York Classical Review: "Above all, Ehnes’s interpretation was one of exemplary clarity. This concerto, adhering faithfully to traditional form, presents the solo part as a character rather than a narrative, and Ehnes portrayed its essential nobility with grace. The various themes of the first movement, culminating in Kreisler’s soaring cadenza, seemed packed with great-hearted Romantic idealism, and the dreaming of the coda was tender enough to make the audience levitate."
Tatiana Chulochnikova performed works by Bach with American Bach Soloists.
- San Francisco Classical Voice: "Chulochnikova’s finely articulated and assertive playing threw an interesting new light on the bare bones of BWV 565. By contrast, her performance of the Violin Concerto, after intermission, was more measured and deliberate, with a meditative central Adagio and a lively final movement."
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