The Week in Reviews, Op. 214: Janine Jansen; Ray Chen; Hilary Hahn

January 22, 2018, 8:16 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.

Janine Jansen performed Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Janine Jansen
Janine Jansen.

Ray Chen performed the Beethoven with the Pacific Symphony.

Hilary Hahn performed the Mendelssohn with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Nicola Benedetti performed the Beethoven with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Pinchas Zukerman performed and conducted Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Andrew Sords performed Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra.

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


January 23, 2018 at 05:06 PM · I saw Angelo Xiang Yu play Vivaldi's Four Seasons with the Colorado Symphony on Friday. It was a performance that really leaned into the programmatic aspects of the piece, with him really bringing out the various characters and actions. In that vein, it was a performance of extremes, with sometimes ugly (or maybe interesting) sounds brought out that might not be done in a more classically inflected performance. He played with sparing vibrato, but his sound was very beautiful and he built up really long lines that always seemed to have a direction to them. Everything his right hand did was really incredible.

There was also a pretty interesting interplay between him and the conductor and him and members of the orchestra that had duets with him, so it seems like he was having a lot of fun. I was in the 2nd row, so I really appreciated the soft playing, but a friend sitting in the back of the hall reported that he sounded a little too soft from that distance.

It was maybe a polarizing performance, but I really enjoyed it. I don't really have a lot of baggage with the piece, so I didn't come in with any particular expectations, but someone hoping for more of a performance reflecting the notes in the score and not the programmatic sonnets may have found it excessive, but the rest of the audience seemed to dig it. If you get the chance, check this guy out!

January 23, 2018 at 08:58 PM · Christian, was there a review? I'd be happy to add it.

January 23, 2018 at 09:28 PM · I saw Janine Jansen perform Debussy, Chausson and Grieg on Sunday at Carnegie Hall with Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Her performance with Thibaudet was great. The quartet was a little stiff, which was too bad because her playing was really lovely. She has such a great presence on stage, and of course makes it all look so easy!!!

January 23, 2018 at 09:49 PM · Doesn't look like there is a review from any newspaper or anything like that. I almost never see any reviews for any concerts in Denver, which is kind of a shame, but I doubt there is much of a market for it here.

January 24, 2018 at 03:52 AM · That really is a shame, Christian. Denver is my home town, and they certainly used to have classical music coverage, back in the day!

January 25, 2018 at 03:25 PM · I saw the Bruch. JJ's 1st mmt was just unworldly and the orchestra was very fine too.

January 26, 2018 at 05:06 AM · WQXR has Jansen's Bruch for replay:

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