The Week in Reviews, Op. 140: Nicola Benedetti, Joshua Bell, Ray Chen
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.
Nicola Benedetti performed the American premiere of Wynton Marsalis' Violin Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
- Chicago Tribune: "... there's no question that Marsalis has created a work of lustrous appeal, its inherent accessibility and vivid colors suggesting that it could well become a repertory piece. It's not difficult to imagine contemporary violinists taking up the work, though they will be hard-pressed to match the depth and sheen of Benedetti's tone, the wizardry of her technique, the emotional weight of her rendition of the cadenzas or the naturalness with which she phrased Marsalis' exquisitely structured lines."
- Chicago Classical Review: "Ultimately one never gets the sense that the concerto has anything significant to say beyond its gaudy populist trimmings. Still, Marsalis’s Concerto in D is an undeniably engaging and enjoyable work, and this U.S. premiere received impassioned, fully committed advocacy from Nicola Benedetti, for whom it was written. The Scottish violinist brought out the moments of lyrical poetry with a touching sense of delicate fantasy and blazed through the virtuosic demands with total command and assurance."
Nicola Benedetti. Photo by Simon Fowler.
Joshua Bell performed Saint-Saens No. 3 with the Aspen Chamber Symphony.
Ray Chen performed the Sibelius with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic.
- Buenos Aires Herald: "...as the minutes went by, it became clear to the enthusiastic music lovers of the Phil’s subscription series (and to this reviewer) that we were hearing the mastery of a major artist, such as there are very few even in a world teeming with proficient violinists."
Alan Choo performed Prokofiev's Second Violin Concerto with the Orchestra of the Music Makers.
- Straits Times: "Alan Choo took full command of the lovely central movement, soaring sublimely above the gently ticking orchestral accompaniment. He distinguished himself, and the entire performance, with his gorgeous tone and an unerring feel for the music's exotic character."
Suyeon Kang performed the Beethoven with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.
- The New Zealand Herald: "Suyeon Kang, winner of last year's Michael Hill International Violin Competition, seemed nervous at first in the great Allegro ma non troppo of Beethoven's Violin Concerto, until an intense trill fired confidence. Using Daniel Garlitsky's cadenza...Kang gave us five minutes of virtuoso bedazzlement, incorporating a sprightly march, with timpani obbligato. She was at her loveliest in the Larghetto, pursuing decorative dialogues with other soloists around her, in collegial perfection."
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