The Week in Reviews, Op. 243: Gil Shaham; Ruggero Allifranchini; Simon Porter; Itzhak Perlman
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.
Gil Shaham performed Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Minnesota Orchestra.
- Twin Cities.com: "...Shaham made it electrifying. What started out lyrical and introspective transformed into an agitated amalgam of hyperactive strumming and anxious bowing, resolving in an eerie unaccompanied pensiveness on the opening movement."
Violinist Gil Shaham.
Ruggero Allifranchini performed an arrangement of Beethoven’s "Kreutzer" Sonata for violin and stringed orchestra with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
- Twin Cities.com: "SPCO’s associate concertmaster, Ruggero Allifranchini, lent it a flamboyance seldom found in performances of the sonata. He took full advantage of the rapidly shifting moods of the work’s theme-and-variations middle movement, employing delicacy here and a heavy heart there. It was gentler than the original, as the strings softened the piano’s percussive strokes. And the concluding Presto was a fleet, fun frolic in the spirit of the finale to Beethoven’s lone Violin Concerto."
Simone Porter performed the Korngold Concerto with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra.
- Chicago Classical Review: "Porter commands the technical chops, throbbing vibrato but, most importantly, the expressive panache, needed to bring the music’s rhapsodic lyricism to life; she did so with absolute sincerity and not a whiff of gloppy sentiment."
Itzhak Perlman conducted and performed with the Houston Symphony.
- Houston Chronicle: "As a violinist, Itzhak Perlman is a rock star of the classical world. As a conductor, he’s about as expressive as a man can be with his back turned."
Kevin Chen performed Tartini's Violin Concerto in B minor with the New World Symphony.
- South Florida Classical Review: "The violin soloist, New World member Kevin Chen, played in a vigorous, authoritative manner, easily handling the runs, the cadenzas, the passages in two simultaneous notes and everything else, with a light, incisive tone that suited the period of its composition. But the concerto wasn’t all that interesting, chugging along without much evidence of melodic or dramatic inspiration. There were tunes, there was virtuoso display, but there was little evidence of the man who composed such a gripping work as the 'Devil’s Trill.'"
Mayuko Kamio performed the Barber Violin Concerto with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
- Oregon Artswatch: "Japanese violinist Mayuko Kamio started up Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto with a quiet, delicate opening, supported by rich horns (I dare say this section might be better than Oregon Symphony’s). The second movement, another lovely oboe solo answered by sweet cellos and a high clean violin section. Kamio’s line turns tragic, light and bittersweet, a vigorous vibrato, molto schmaltzando, as muted trumpets echo mysteriously in the distance. As the last movement’s virtuosic perpetuo moto got underway Kamio began to really pick up steam, full orchestra punctuating her hoedown grooving."
Paul Huang performed the Bruch Concerto with the Richardson Symphony Orchestra.
- Theater Jones: "Huang, a 27-year-old Taiwanese-American Juilliard alumnus, has a compelling sound, rich, warm, and inviting. His performance of the Bruch was always engaging, if not technically flawless..."
Nikita Boriso-Glebsky performed the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
- Bournemouth Echo: "(Conductor Marta Gardolinska) clearly had a wonderful rapport with violin virtuoso Nikita Boriso-Glebsky whose work on Bruch was simply stunning."
- The News: "Our soloist was 33 year old Russian Nikita Boriso-Glebsky who performed with fluidity and ease, and was given well-tailored support by the conductor and orchestra."
Arabella Steinbacher performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.
- Hawthorn Caller: "Steinbacher was admirably unflustered by Tchaikovsky‘s draconian demands with (conductor Xian) Zhang underpinning the expansive first movement with impressive structural support. The central Canzonetta was meltingly tender, woodwind as shapely and sonorous as could be. Steinbacher‘s encore was a thrillingly fierce rendition of Ysaye's "Obsession," an eerie tangle of solo Bach and an ominous Dies irae."
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