The Week in Reviews, Op. 225: Sergey Khachatryan; Jennifer Koh; Tessa Lark
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.
Sergey Khachatryan performed the Brahms with the Cleveland Orchestra.
- The Plain Dealer: "Armenian violinist Sergey Khachatryan possessed everything the famous work demands, and more. Beyond technique in spades, he wielded a concentrated, forceful tone and exceptional degrees of clarity and tenderness at soft and high extremes. Not in some time has this listener encountered such a focused, passionate account of the Adagio."
Sergey Khachatryan. Photo by Marco Borggreve.
Jennifer Koh performed the Sibelius with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.
- The Columbus Dispatch: "Jennifer Koh dazzled in the Sibelius Violin Concerto. In the concerto’s fist movement, Koh’s first cadenza was clean and evenly paced, and she paced her phrases at the recapitulation with near surgical precision. The low end of Koh’s sound was lovely in the richly romantic melody at the beginning of the second movement. Throughout the movement, the orchestra followed her like a shadow."
Tessa Lark performed the Dvorak with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
- The Buffalo News: "It was clear right away that this concerto was in very good hands, as she sailed through the first movement, carrying off those high notes with confidence and control. At the same time, the lady in red was not a grandstanding musician. She communicated deep concentration. The Adagio was the highlight. Lark showed a glorious legato singing tone in that sublime opening theme, and gave just the right whimsical touch to the trilling birdsong that comes a bit later. She has a stellar sense for dynamics."
Augustin Hadelich performed Bernstein's Serenade with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
- The Dallas Morning News: "Bernstein's Serenade, virtually a violin concerto, might be more of a repertory staple minus the pompous Platonic program. It's certainly the composer in top form, spinning a free-range theme into sophisticated counterpoint, then dispensing a scurrying scherzo and a dreamy slow movement and turning a jazzy dance into a rousing conclusion....FWSO artistic partner Augustin Hadelich was the admirable soloist, with admirable collaboration from the orchestra's harp, strings and percussion."
Arabella Steinbacher performed the Korngold with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
- The Baltimore Sun: "The violinist burrowed into the most exquisite melodies with a sweet, penetrating tone, creating an ethereal gleam in the first two movements, and she took the work’s hefty technical demands in stride."
Elina Vähälä performed Corigliano's The Red Violin with the Sarasota Orchestra.
- Herald-Tribune: "Soloist Elina Vähälä played the demanding score with great passion and bravura evoking a vision of Paganini’s sister. Drawn from Corigliano’s Oscar-winning score for the eponymous 2000 movie, the concerto begins with the chaconne of 'Anna’s theme,' but continues miles beyond. There is still a fresh new thrill to this concerto. The skittering scherzo second movement zipped by at pianissimo with the soloist playing harmonics. A lyric interlude transitioned into a raucous reckless finale which included a nostalgic return of Anna’s theme and topped it all with an astounding cadenza as Vähälä produced every ounce of technique and expression required."
Shlomo Mintz performed the Mendelssohn with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.
- The Press: "Taking on the role of both conductor and soloist helped Shlomo Mintz bring an intimacy to Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor that favoured the lyrical qualities of the work....Mintz's almost Zen-like calm served him well throughout the concerto and, while I felt the tempi were slightly on the slow side, the emphasis on substance over flashiness was satisfying. The audience also clearly loved what he brought to this performance."
Galya Bisengalieva performed the Brahms with the Airedale Symphony Orchestra.
- Ilkley Gazette: "The tenderness of her playing seemed to underline an enduring rapport with this orchestra and conductor. Textures were clear and carefully balanced so as not to submerge the delicately contoured solo line. There was richness and exuberance aplenty in Bisengalieva’s realisation of the gypsy folk idiom of the finale."
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