The Week in Reviews, Op. 163: Pekka Kuusisto, Ray Chen, Karen Gomyo
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.
Pekka Kuusisto performed Kreisler's "Concerto in C" with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
- Minneapolis Star Tribune: "...the Concerto in C is a charming work, full of geniality and easy-flowing melody. Kuusisto's was a warmly affectionate performance, built on his silken tonal quality, and a fabulously flexible bowing technique that makes transitions between phrases sound seamless."
- St. Paul Pioneer Press: "What could have been just a clever programming idea instead provided the foundation for one of the most enjoyable SPCO concerts of the season. Forays into historical imitation can come off as academic exercises, but these works were seized as opportunities to use old forms to express very of-the-moment emotions. There was joy and sadness, anxiety and, above all, excitement."
Pekka Kuusisto. Photo by Kaapo Kamu.
Ray Chen performed the Sibelius with Los Angeles Philharmonic.
- Los Angeles Times: "...the Sibelius concerto thrives on a paradoxical combination of fire and ice, and Chen could provide enough fire but hardly any ice. Nor was there much darkness or propulsion in Tovey’s shaping of the orchestral components....Yet Chen’s outgoing personality and flair could not be denied, both in Sibelius and his encore, Paganini’s Caprice No. 21."
Karen Gomyo performed Matthias Pintscher's "Mar'eh" with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
- The Dallas Morning News: "The violin part isn't self-consciously showy, but it demands laser-point tuning, in wide-spread pitches and often stratospheric ranges. Some passages require genuinely virtuoso technique. It's hard to imagine this challenging music played with more precision, subtlety and elegance than it was Thursday night by Karen Gomyo."
- Theater Jones: "Perhaps the lack of soloistic showboating in this concerto and in Gomyo’s performance was the reason for a surprisingly tepid reception....it was a bit disappointing that Gomyo’s brilliant pyrotechnics went under-recognized."
Christina Day Martinson performed the Bach Concerto in A minor with Boston Baroque.
- Boston Musical Intelligencer: "The most overtly showy solo violin moment came in the concluding jig, but again the concertmaster declined to take an ego trip, though her accomplished efforts were certainly not self-effacing either."
Miriam Fried performed works by Schumann and Bartók in recital with her son, pianist Jonathan Biss.
- Boston Musical Intelligencer: "Violinist Miriam Fried provided both outgoing expressive projection and quiet eloquent tone in ample measure; it was gratifying to hear relaxed but confident playing that was mighty at the same time. With a clear, smooth, and never strained sound, beautifully proportioned to the large Steinway piano with its top removed, her son, Jonathan Biss, proved the perfect partner in the musical dialog."
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