The Week in Reviews, Op. 164: Nicola Benedetti, Vadim Gluzman, Gil Shaham
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 Beethoven with the Worthing Symphony Orchestra.
- Worthing Herald: "No bombast, no over-screwed tension, no showing-off, no probing rubato, no contrived drama. Just the concentration and focus that meant no lapses into areas of sheer leisure, luxuriating, beautification, or indulgent introspection."
Nicola Benedetti. Photo by Simon Fowler.
Vadim Gluzman performed the Tchaikovsky with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
- Naples Daily News: "The good: Hearing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto performed on the 1690-vintage Stradivarius it was meant for, even if ultimately it didn't premiere the work. The bad: We had just heard this concerto, played by no less than Joshua Bell, a month ago...The result: It was all good — in fact, it was great. Vadim Gluzman and Bell are continents apart in their interpretations of the famous concerto, and both were so rewarding we realize now we would happily hear a third reading next month."
Gil Shaham performed the Korngold with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "(The Korngold) makes high demands of its soloist, both technical and interpretive; Shaham aced them all, with a bravura performance that brought down the house."
James Ehnes performed the Beethoven with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.
- Rochester Democrat & Chronicle: "Often bird-like, happy and intense, Ehnes’ interpretation of this work is powerful and precise, from gritty double stops and arpeggios to delightful trills."
- Rochester City Newspaper: "Ehnes's no-nonsense style, his accuracy, and his sweet but penetrating tone, fit it perfectly -- and fit the movement from Bach's Third Solo Violin Sonata that he played as an affecting encore."
Noah Geller performed Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Kansas City Symphony.
- The Kansas City Star: "Geller commanded the work with innate sensitivity and muscular drive. His virtuosic cadenza was a dense, terse sequence of double stops and complex runs."
Pekka Kuusisto performed the Ligeti with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
- Cincinnati Enquirer: "Kuusisto, an artist of astonishing gifts, booted up his iPad and tackled the daunting score animatedly. He began almost imperceptibly, with a pianissimo melody, followed by a frenzied dialogue with orchestral colleagues. His playing was by turns expressive and fiercely vibrant in this journey of many moods."
Jonathan Carney performed the Walton with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
- The Baltimore Sun: "If his articulation became fuzzy in some stratospheric passages, Carney's ever-stylish and communicative phrasing carried him along handsomely throughout. He tapped into the bittersweet element in the concerto with especially radiant phrasing."
Kolja Blacher performed the Mendelssohn with the San Antonio Symphony.
- San Antonio Express-News: "Blacher didn’t break any new melodic ground in the concerto, but his attention to detail led to an impressive performance, the orchestra merrily chasing his high-spirited lead in finale."
Alexander Janiczek performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
- The Herald: "Alexander Janiczek took on the role of both soloist and conductor for Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 that followed. Janiczek was a far from egoistic soloist, but the beauty of his playing produced in a captivating performance even if the finale seemed somewhat restrained."
Sarah Chang performed the Dvorák with the Prague Philharmonia.
- Palm Beach Daily News: "Although Chang demonstrated a constant elegance and lyricism, it seemed as though she was not getting any help from the hall. Her sound struggled to break out of the orchestra at times, and not for lack of trying."
Abigail Fayette performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 2; and Brandon Garbot performed Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 4 with the Curtis Chamber Orchestra.
- Palm Beach Daily News: "(Abigail Fayette) has all the technique a rising soloist could desire along with impeccable intonation and a very rich lower register." ... and, "(Brandon Garbot's) strength was his ability to draw out the dramatic qualities of the work through varied articulations and just the right dynamic application, especially in the second movement."
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