The Week in Reviews, Op. 204: Patricia Kopatchinskaja; James Ehnes; Joshua Bell
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.
Patricia Kopatchinskaja performed works by Schoenberg and Mozart with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
- Pioneer Press: "Patricia Kopatchinskaja is accomplishing something that some classical music traditionalists likely thought impossible: She’s making the music of Arnold Schoenberg fun."
Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Photo by Marina Saanishvili.
James Ehnes performed the Barber with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
- Chicago Tribune: "I was taken aback by the wealth of singing tone the consummate Canadian virtuoso drew from his 1715 “Marsick” Stradivarius. The sound glistened when he soared above the staff, becoming marvelously throaty in the low register. Yet this high degree of expressive warmth never devolved into sticky excess; rather, it honored the musical inspiration that makes this one of the truly great American violin concertos."
- Chicago Classical Review: "James Ehnes proved a simpatico soloist for this music, his slender, silvery tone ideal for Barber’s brand of melancholy lyricism. "
Joshua Bell performed Bernstein's Serenade with the New York Philharmonic.
- The New York Times: "Mr. Bell brought glowing sound and a beautifully reflective quality to the monologue-like violin writing of the first movement, and fleet, articulate grace to the racing Presto."
- New York Classical Review: "Bell seemed to acknowledge, in an updated way, the sweet tone of earlier-era violinists such as Isaac Stern, for whom this piece was written in 1954."
Isabelle van Keulen performed Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
- The Age: "...her mastery of this unsettling composition – two slow movements surrounding a very fast centrepiece – became evident through the opening luminous cantilena, then its progress into demanding passage-work and ornate virtuosic declamation. A rewarding and confidently negotiated reading."
Baiba Skride performed the Sibelius with the San Francisco Symphony.
- The San Francisco Chronicle: "Skride, a Latvian violinist who made a powerful debut in Davies Symphony Hall on Thursday afternoon, plays with a combination of dramatic intensity and tonal heft that reinforce each other. There’s no way to listen to her play without feeling that something consequential is afoot."
Jessica Linnebach performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 with the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
- Edmonton Journal: "Linnebach was the ideal soloist. Her approach was very much as first among equals, blending her tone in, undemonstrative and yet purposeful, and with a touch of playfulness in the third movement."
Nicola Benedetti performed he Marsalis with the San Diego Symphony.
- The San Diego Union-Tribune: "Marsalis’ concerto is a sprawling mess where musical ideas hop around like beads of water on a hot griddle and evaporate just as quickly."
Gil Shaham performed the Tchaikovsky with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
- The Philadelphia Inquirer: "His sound had great presence, which carried his deeply gorgeous tone. There was nothing extravagant in the phrasing, and tempos were traditional — though he was such a speed demon in the last few minutes of the first movement, it was almost funny what light work he made of it."
Mayuko Kamio performed the Khachaturian with Symphony Silicon Valley.
- San Francisco Classical Voice: "She played with an ultra-dry and unresonant timbre, produced with smooth consistency. Oistrakh had a similar style, actually, but Kamio amps up the technique to 11. This strong and strange sound came off something like a monophonic 78-rpm record played on a first-rate hi-fi system. Kamio proved her purpose intentional by unleashing a kaleidoscope of bizarre tone colors on her encore, Paganini’s 24th Caprice."
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