The Week in Reviews, Op. 238: Ray Chen; Stefan Jackiw; Jeremy Black
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.
Ray Chen performed Mozart Concerto No. 5 with the Aspen Festival Chamber Orchestra
- Aspen Times: "Rain, which intrudes on tent concerts sporadically throughout the season, started pounding just as violin soloist Ray Chen reached the final pages of Mozart's elegant Concerto No. 5 in A major. As the audience rose to a standing ovation, the tent felt like inside of bass drum battered by a hundred percussionists. The thrum persisted through intermission. With a shrug, Chen left the stage without an encore, but returned to play it (amplified) as the rain started to let up during the second half. Paganani's Caprice No. 21 showed off his chops impressively."
Stefan Jackiw performed the Korngold Violin Concerto with the Aspen Festival Orchestra.
- Aspen Times:: "...the apex of the afternoon was Stefan Jackiw's superbly articulated, fearlessly Romantic and sleek work on Korngold's heart-on-sleeve Violin Concerto. Robertson coaxed vital backing from the orchestra, whether articulating the tunes from Korngold's films or supporting the violinist gracefully as he tackled the challenging gestures in the score. Jackiw outdid himself with a stately, regal and deft encore, the Largo from Bach's Unaccompanied Sonata No. 3."
Jeremy Black performed Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" with the Grant Park Orchestra.
- Chicago Classical Review: "Black in particular tapped into the interpretive freedoms afforded by the score, varying repeated refrains and improvising ornamentations, notably in the inner movement of a delightful Spring concerto. Black led the ensemble through sensitive, uncaricatured dynamic turns; with Beilman and Haman contributing subtle, wry solos."
Philippe Quint performed Piazzolla’s "Four Seasons of Buenos Aires" with the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra.
- Sharps & Flatirons: "A player who has his own ties to the style of Piazzolla’s music, Quint delivered a passionate performance....This is music of rapidly shifting moods, sometimes capturing the rough tango of Buenos Aires dance halls, sometimes more sultry, sometimes fiery. Quint seems to have them all in his hip pocket, moving from one mood to the next with no visible strain, and then filling the hall with a beautiful tone in the last movement’s lyrical moments. Conductor, orchestra and soloist danced together without a stumble."
Anne Akiko Meyers performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra.
- Greensboro News & Record: "Meyers displayed beautiful tone and a dazzling technique, occasionally punctuated by an audible foot stomp to reinforce her rhythm. After a soaring lyrical slow movement, the third movement was impeccably together with the woodwinds’ staccato matching the soloist while the lower strings spun one of Mendelssohn’s memorable melodies with well-balanced delicacy."
- CVNC: "The glorious effect of Meyers' musical and technical mastery as well as her famous violin sound were immediately heard in the passionate, melodic principal theme. What a refined palette of tonal color! And how immaculate was her intonation as her violin soared from pp to ff!"
Anne Akiko Meyers, cellist Neal Cary and pianist William Wolfram performed Mendelssohn's Piano Trio at the Eastern Music Festival.
- News & Record: "The opening featured exquisite playing from all three in a movement that includes both lyricism and passion. The slower second movement is given over to melody and full-throated romanticism. All three musicians reveled in the beauty with Wolfram especially providing well-defined, lovely-shaped melodies."
Julia Fischer performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich.
- National Business Reviews: "Her approach appeared to be focused on providing an intelligent understanding of the music both technically and emotionally. At times she played with a riveting aggressiveness while at other times her playing was tender, thoughtful and playful. "
Benjamin Beilman performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Orchestra of St. Luke at Caramoor.
- New York Times: "Playing with rich sound and plenty of brilliance, Mr. Beilman conveyed both dreamy lyricism and heated intensity."
Stefan Jackiw cellist Jay Campbell and pianist Conrad Tao performed in recital at the Aspen Music Festival.
- Aspen Times: "...the Junction Trio (the initials of their last names spell JCT) lavished bracing technique and jaw-dropping precision on piano trios by Ives and Ravel. Jackiw set the scene for the rambunctious Ives piece in an introduction that sketched the composer's life story and how it affected the music. A thorny first movement resolves with an unexpected major chord, a scherzo that blatantly calls itself a "joke" merrily clashes totally different but familiar strands, the finale veers toward nostalgia. The playing here never let up in intensity."
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