The Week in Reviews, Op. 215: Augustin Hadelich; Daniel Hope; James Ehnes; Julian Rachlin
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.
Augustin Hadelich performed the Ligeti with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
- Boston Globe: "...the gifted young violinist Augustin Hadelich tore into the work with all the expressive intensity he might have brought to the Brahms Violin Concerto. And for his part on the podium, Adès led with an authority born of a fellow composer’s intimate and admiring knowledge of the piece’s inner workings....Adès composed his own cadenza for the Ligeti Violin Concerto in 2013; and on Thursday Hadelich gave its American premiere. The cadenza is masterful in the way it ventriloquizes Ligeti’s voice, folds organically into what comes before and after, and at the same time ratchets up the level of virtuoso display by several notches. Hadelich’s account was explosive."
- Boston Musical Intelligencer: "Ligeti’s Violin Concerto may need to be seen to be believed....in person, with the astonishing Augustin Hadelich as soloist, something like a concerto dynamic becomes visible. Unlike a traditional concerto, the violin here only rarely struts before the orchestra. Instead, we focus on the violinist, whose material and perspective orient the listener to the notes whirling around. This visual, dramatic element supports the theatricality of the form, even though much of the violin’s writing is textural, blending into the orchestra while remaining distinct."
Daniel Hope performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 with the New Century Chamber Orchestra.
- San Francisco Chronicle: "Hope gave a more probing, cleanly delineated rendition of the Violin Concerto No. 3, K. 216, bringing out all the music’s youthful ebullience and puckish charm. There was a faint air of inconsequentiality about it all — there’s always a bit of heavy lifting involved in making Mozart’s violin concertos fill the space allotted to them, and Hope seemed content to let the music skate by. But there was no denying the elegance or vitality of his reading."
- The Berkeley Daily Planet: "Our soloist was Daniel (Hope), who also conducted in such a way as to emphasize this intimate interaction between orchestra and soloist."
James Ehnes performed Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the New York Philharmonic.
- New York Classical Review: "Ehnes’s mastery of the music was unassailable."
- ZEALnyc: "Ehnes’s uncommonly sweet tone and impeccable intonation were apparent in the opening melody. The piece is a remarkable fusion of spiky, early twentieth-century modernism and sensuous melodic lushness. Ehnes’s approach leaned decidedly toward the romantic, with priority given to beauty of line and opulence of sound."
Julian Rachlin performed the Mendelssohn with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "The vehicle for his talents was Mendelssohn’s lovely “Violin Concerto” and it was a perfect marriage of lyrical sensibilities. The soft parts were almost imperceptible, while the louder sections never got above an uncomfortable volume. Every note was delivered on a smooth cushion of sound with rapid phrases dancing lightly on top. It was all finesse — all delicately realized without any bravado."
Leila Josefowicz performed the Oliver Knussen’s Violin Concerto with the National Symphony Orchestra.
- Washington Classical Review: "From the opening peal of sound, a bell strike married to a perilously high note on her violin, Josefowicz attacked this colorfully orchestrated, constantly moving piece with brio and humor."
- The Washington Post: "Like (Josefowicz), (the concerto) presents as a rebel while following the shapes, the forms of convention. It is, in fact, a big old-fashioned virtuosic concerto, couched in a more contemporary language so that at first listen one might not immediately notice the big gestures and acrobatic showcasing of the soloist, thanks to admixtures of bell and piano and flicks of dissonance."
Simone Lamsma performed the Britten with the Houston Symphony.
- Houston Chronicle: "Dutch violinist Simone Lamsma's cogent performance was impressive in the vigorous 2nd movement, excitingly paced by Wellber....Lamsma's cadenza in this movement was remarkable for the blanched high notes and the technical challenge of bowing and plucking simultaneously."
Philippe Quint performed the Bernstein Serenade with the North Carolina Symphony.
- CVNC.com: "The work could be more properly titled as a violin concerto, but either way, violinist Quint brought the weaving, inventive dialogue between ensemble and solo to life."
Andrew Sords performed the Sibelius with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra.
- Green Valley News: "The Violin Concerto by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius is a formidable challenge for any violinist, and Sords met that challenge in a flawless performance displaying not only mastery of his instrument but also maturity and sensitivity in the interpretation of this complex work."
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