The Week in Reviews, Op. 165: Gidon Kremer, Gil Shaham, Elina Vähälä
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.
Before we get to the reviews, let's congratulate the film Joe's Violin which this morning earned an Academy Award nomination in the Documentary Short Subject category. The film, which you can watch here, follows the aftermath of a Holocaust survivor donating his violin to a poor school student in the Bronx.
On to the reviews...
Gidon Kremer performed the Weinberg with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
- The Boston Musical Intelligencer: "Gidon Kremer, in fine form, displayed by turns forceful and sweet playing. The violin sang at some moments and raged in others. The composition is not retiring in character, nor was Kremer’s expert handling of its technical and emotional complexities."
- Boston Globe: "Kremer was in fine form for this piece, playing with energy and vigor that belied his upcoming 70th birthday."
Gil Shaham performed Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
- Violinist.com:"Shaham made it look easy to pick those notes out of the stratosphere and make them all shimmer."
- Los Angeles Times: "Rather than stand in wooden formality as he plays, the violinist loves to engage with conductor and orchestra, dashing around the stage, grinning widely when something goes right, which is pretty much all the time."
- OC Weekly: "Bringuier sprung from the podium to escort genius violinist Gil Shaham out onto the stage to immense applause. The cheering continued as Gil made the rounds with orchestra members, his animated smile and ecstatic waving spreading joy like a wildfire. Almost immediately and with utmost perfection, he brought bow to strings and Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor began with solemnity."
Daniel Hope performed "I Will Not Remain Silent" by Bruce Adolphe with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
- Violinist.com: "The solo violin personifies Prinz: strong, intense and ever-wailing against the sinister sounds of the orchestra..."
- Los Angeles Times: "Hope’s rich, sometimes grainy violin sonority became an eloquently imploring voice of reason, celebrating the significance of even a single voice."
- Classical Voice North America: "Perhaps Hope could have been more passionate and urgent, but he played well, with impeccable intonation."
Elina Vähälä performed the Britten with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "Playing with a clean, even sound, she created vivid contrasts, from the sighing opening lines of the piece, to bold, assertive, sometimes-aggressive articulations and dynamics, to introspective whispers of high harmonics."
Mateusz Wolski performed Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Spokane Symphony.
- The Spokesman-Review: "Mateusz Wolski...performed his part with a combination of instrumental perfection and emotional intensity that stands comparison with the finest violinists ever to take the piece into their repertoire."
Vadim Gluzman performed the Tchaikovsky with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
- Worcester Telegram: "There was lots of charm and style in his accounts of the score's many Russian folk-music-like passages. The short, lyrical second movement soared. The finale was played insanely fast, yet every note spoke and the thrill of Gluzman's approach paid dividends over the closing bars: they were downright exhilarating."
Timothy Chooi performed the Mendelssohn with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
- Calgary Herald: "Lyrical and pleasant in his manner of performance, Chooi was at his best in the reflective slow movement, where his smallish, sweet sound was heard to excellent effect."
Christian Tetzlaff performed the Mendelssohn with the New World Symphony.
- South Florida Classical Review: "Eschewing the sweetness and vulnerability many violinists aim for, he played (the opening) with an almost demonic intensity -– with a quick tempo, fast vibrato and sense of momentum that blazed up to the climactic ascending octaves."
Kam Ning performed the Adams with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
- Straits Times: "Almost improvisatory in feel, her violin soared above the fast chugging built on a rhythmic ostinato."
Jessica Linnebach performed Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 3 with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra.
- The Chronicle Journal: "What a near perfect match she was for this work, together with Leonard’s conducting and our TBSO. The second movement, the Adagio, was faultless, and here is where Leonard’s conducting revealed her quiet attention to gentle details and support of the soloist. Linnebach plays a 1840 Jean-Paptiste Vuillaume (Guarnerius) violin. Its sound is splendid. In her sensitive and vigorous playing, the sound gloriously filled our auditorium."
Please support music in your community by attending a concert or recital (or donating a good instrument to your local public schools) whenever you can!
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