The Week in Reviews, Op. 249: Simone Lamsma; Robert Chen; Anne-Sophie Mutter
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.
Simone Lamsma performed the Britten Violin Concerto with the New York Philharmonic.
- New York Times: "Ms. Lamsma, who first worked with her countryman Mr. van Zweden in 2007, played splendidly, with crisp clarity and brightly radiant sound, conveying both the rhapsodic fervor and intriguing pensiveness of the music."
Simone Lamsma. Photo by Otto van den Toorn.
Robert Chen performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
- Chicago Tribune: "Chen conducted himself less as a soloist and more as a member of a chamber ensemble, often facing his colleagues rather than the audience. Chen excelled in the adagio second movement, the delicacy of his pianissimos and soaring quality of his phrases getting at the profundities of this score."
- Chicago Classical Review: "Chen’s rendition of the spacious Allegro was nimble and idiomatic, and he eloquently floating the Adagio’s arioso melody of a bed of subtly pulsating strings. The final bars of the magnanimous Rondo were greeted with an affectionate standing ovation from the audience, which felt as much in honor Chen’s decades of stalwart leadership as for his excellent concerto performance."
Anne-Sophie Mutter performed Penderecki’s Violin Concerto No 2 “Metamorphosen” with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
- The Scotsman: "Her ownership of Penderecki’s Violin Concerto No 2 “Metamorphosen” - she premiered it in 1995 and remains its principle champion - was evident from the very opening, where she responds to an insistent single note motif by the orchestra, and from which the lengthy single movement structure journeys through peaks and troughs of mixed emotions, largely reflective, tumultuous only to an extent, to its final becalmed resting place."
- EdinburghGuide.com: "Metamorphosen is a beguiling work that takes a journey through life in its thirty eight minutes and as just one movement. The violas set the theme and Mutter was playing throughout. At times the music was doleful and then angry before calming and being melancholic. But all along rapturous and yet emotional as a journey through life - and ending quietly as if in another world."
- The Herald: "The work does seem to lack forward progression about two-thirds through, but its final ten minutes are utterly mesmeric, with big brass passages framing an astonishing cadenza and then a plaintive violin solo. Those final pages of the score feature some very testing shifts of tempo and pacing, which made Sondergard’s mastery of the work no mean feat. Mutter’s encore was, perfectly, part of a Bach Partita."
Philippe Quint performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Pacific Symphony.
- LA Opus: "...as sweet-toned and poetic as you could wish for, and carefully observant of the text and spirit of Tchaikovsky’s score throughout."
Joshua Bell performed Saint-Saëns’s Violin Concerto No. 3 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
- MD Theatre Guide: "I was very impressed with his movement, his fingers dancing flawlessly on the fingerboard like a ballet on ice, ebbing and flowing with the motion of the symphony –driving and pulling like a Lamborghini hugging the curve with the Swiss Alps in the rearview mirror."
Augustin Hadelich performed the Britten Violin Concerto with the New World Symphony.
- South Florida Classical Review: " Hadelich, a virtuoso of the first order, was a master of the instrument’s top range, playing with a clear, penetrating tone just where some of his colleagues weaken. He played the opening movement in a rhythmically free manner, tugging at phrases to draw them out. The second movement is a scherzo-like rush of sound, with the violin chopping away in rapid, sardonic passages that recall Shostakovich and Prokofiev. Hadelich powered through these passages with authority and fire, creating tones of rugged force in runs of two simultaneous notes."
Amalia Hall performed Michael Norris' Violin Concerto, "Sama," with Orchestra Wellington.
- Dominion Post: "I must confess some difficulty in relating the music to anything remotely Sufi or Islamic, and the violin often had little chance against the orchestra. Nothing to do with the immensely accomplished Amalia Hall, who was clearly on top of the demanding violin part but rather a property of the orchestration."
- RNZ: "Sama is the Arabic word for ‘listening’, and a Sufi ceremony including whirling dervishes, spinning in a trance-like state. The work has shimmering exotic timbres and harmonies with unusual percussion sounds adding colour and atmosphere...It was a magical performance by Amalia Hall who handled the demands effortlessly."
Anne-Sophie Mutter performed Penderecki’s Violin Concerto No 2 “Metamorphosen” with Sinfonia Varsovia in celebration of Krzysztof Penderecki's 85th birthday.
- theartsdesk.com: "Mutter’s bronzed, viola-like tone is ideal for this music, and she has an intuitive grasp of the composer’s long and flowing, but never predictable, melodic lines. "
Elena Urioste performed Korngold’s Violin Concerto in D Major with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
- TheReviewsHub.com: "This a treasure to be given to any talented violinist, but for Elena Urioste, she brings it into the daylight as an absolute masterpiece. In particular, the perfect balance between soloist and orchestra."
- The Northern Echo: "Violinist Elena Urioste drew out the expansive themes of the first movement before an explosive cadenza. The shimmering opening to the slow movement was conveyed with supreme sensitivity, with intimate passages of gossamer lightness."
William Hagen performed Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
- The Chicago Maroon: "Hagen evoked a grieving tone reminiscent of the famed Schindler’s List theme, reflecting a depressive soliloquy. Then, in a brazen performance, Hagen shifted gears and aggressively performed in the violin’s lower octave."
TwoSet Violin performed live in Evanston, Ill.
- The Chicago Maroon: "TwoSet Violin truly combined comedy with the brilliance of orchestral pieces, living up to their title of professional musicians with “down-to-earth” personalities"
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