The Week in Reviews, Op. 195: Leila Josefowicz; Pekka Kuusisto; InMo Yang
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.
Leila Josefowicz performed the Stravinsky with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Click here to listen to this BBC Prom 50 performance.
- The Guardian: "Leila Josefowicz was the fierce, fast-witted soloist, who relished every detail of the scoring and the chain of partnerships it sets up between the solo violin and the orchestral principals, all of them brought vividly into the foregound by (Mirga) Gražinyte-Tyla."
- The Arts Desk: "Not for her any metrical rigidity; she set such a dangerous pace for the finale that you wondered if Mirga could keep tabs on her. But she did, and in any case Josefowicz was tuned in to the orchestral soloists so far behind her in various duets, making wonderful triangles with Mirga and flautist Marie-Christine Zupancic, later replaced by first horn Elspeth Dutch: ineffable woman power at the Proms. Just occasionally she seemed to be playing from her own special edition, but the suppression of a trill here, a double-stopping there only seemed to help Stravinsky's imaginative strangeness."
Leila Josefowicz. Photo by Chris Lee.
Pekka Kuusisto performed the premiere of Daníel Bjarnason's Violin Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.
- Los Angeles Times: "Kuusisto is an extravagant player whose party tricks include singing along as he plays and messing around with Finnish folk music with hipster irreverence. He does that in the concerto, and he also does a lot more, including sawing away on the strings in such a way that it got the whole Bowl vibrating. The orchestra follows his lead, whether going in for glitz or glassy stillness. The two big cadenzas are amazing showpieces. The center section between them is a static orchestral color field. The final section could be a rowdy rite at an Icelandic hot springs."
InMo Yang performed the Bruch with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia.
- Chicago Tribune: "As soloist in Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, Yang displayed a depth of musical feeling beyond the 'wow' technique one expects to hear from competition winners such as he. The sweetness of his tone, the elegance of his bow work and the accuracy of his intonation were much to be admired."
Karen Gomyo performed the Bruch with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
- National Business Review: "Karen Gomyo was more than inspiring – she was spectacular. She not only played with an exceptional, technical wizardry but also her demeanour added to the richness of the work."
Lisa Batiashvili performed the Tchaikovsky with the Estonian Festival Orchestra.
- The Arts Desk: "...though her brilliant, intonation-perfect tone kept us admirable company throughout, the wonders lay in a supporting clarinet arpeggio here, a bassoon line there (from the superb Rie Koyama)."
Augustin Hadelich performed the Dvorak with the Cleveland Orchestra.
- The Plain Dealer: "Many violinists in this score go too far in the direction of fire and grit. Not Hadelich. His performance of the first movement was the epitome of patience and control. And yet there was no rigidity. Lyricism, in fact, abounded, and every phrase came off sounding fully expressive and deeply considered. In the Finale, too, in virtuoso passages he could have soared through without thought, Hadelich found meaning and even warmth."
Leonidas Kavakos performed the Brahms with the Filarmonica della Scala. Click here to listen to this BBC Prom 54 performance.>
- The Arts Desk: "Leonidas Kavakos simply didn't have the consistency to thread the lyrical with the virtuosic aspects and say something new about the Brahms staple, and he was surprisingly subdued at times."
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