The Week in Reviews, Op. 195: Leila Josefowicz; Pekka Kuusisto; InMo Yang

August 28, 2017, 12:05 PM · In an effort to promote the coverage of live violin performance, 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.

Leila Josefowicz
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.

InMo Yang performed the Bruch with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia.

Karen Gomyo performed the Bruch with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Lisa Batiashvili performed the Tchaikovsky with the Estonian Festival Orchestra.

Augustin Hadelich performed the Dvorak with the Cleveland Orchestra.

Leonidas Kavakos performed the Brahms with the Filarmonica della Scala. Click here to listen to this BBC Prom 54 performance.>

Please support music in your community by attending a concert or recital whenever you can!


August 28, 2017 at 11:35 PM · I watched Leila Josefowicz on TV performing the Stravinsky. She and Lithuanian conductor Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla really hit it off in this difficult but hugely exciting concerto. I agree with the critics' comments.

In a pre-concert interview Leila Josefowicz explained how she approached the extraordinarily difficult chord that starts each movement of the concerto: she hasn't got large hands, she said, and the answer boils down to one word - flexibility.

31-year old Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla, now in her second year with the CBSO, has two entirely different conducting styles, both of which she used to effect in the concert: the first is from memory and sans baton - this was for the opening piece Leonora 3 and, later on, Beethoven's 5th. This really got 110% out of the CBSO. It wouldn't surprise me if Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla had trained as a dancer sometime.

The second style is the standard one with stick and score; this was how she conducted the Stravinsky and the world premiere of a new work "Canada" for tenor and orchestra by Irish composer Gerald Barry, both difficult pieces certainly needing that conducting style.

August 29, 2017 at 04:48 PM · I've seen Mirga conduct, and people wildly love her. But I did wonder about stick technique, or non-stick technique, and if it might be tricky in a piece that would require a conductor to account for the changing meters, etc. to keep the train on the tracks! She does seem to know how to take risks and push right up to the edge without going over it!

August 29, 2017 at 05:27 PM · I do have to wonder how often a bassoon line gets mentioned in a review of a violin concerto performance!

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