The Week in Reviews, Op. 231: Christian Tetzlaff; Paul Huang; Augustin Hadelich
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.
Christian Tetzlaff performed the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood.
- The Boston Musical Intelligencer: "(Tetzlaff)...recast the shape of the concerto...— parsing phrases in unexpected ways, drawing back on the intensity where other soloists would rush in. At times he expressly seemed to pull back from the work’s Romantic leanings, avoiding both sentimentality and excessive rubato. Yet for all the evident care that had gone into preparing the performance, it was also visceral and exciting — especially, but not solely, in the high-wire finale."
- ZealNYC: "Tetzlaff poured his heart out in this Adagio di Molto, the very definition of sonoro ed espressivo, and Adès accompanied shrewdly....In the raucus third movement, Tetzlaff tackled the violin parts endless pyrotechnics with electricity, and the final build-up, which largely rests on the soloist’s back, was heart-stopping."
- The Berkshire Eagle: "...the adventurous Christian Tetzlaff mastered the technical hurdles as if they were no challenge. Interpretively, he went against the grain, avoiding any emotional overlay and going for purity of line and phrase."
Christian Tetzlaff. Photo by Giorgia Bertazzi.
Paul Huang performed the Barber Violin Concerto at the Grant Park Music Festival.
- Chicago Tribune: "This listener does not recall any performance of the Barber, live or recorded, with greater flexibility and inwardness. The first two movements proved tender in the extreme. The presto finale was tossed off lightly, without mood-shattering angularity or trenchancy."
- Chicago Classical Review: "...the young violinist was fully in synch with Barber’s vein of bittersweet nostalgia from his very first notes....Huang caressed the lyrical lines with a pure, luminous tune ideally suited to this score."
Augustin Hadelich performed the Ligeti Violin Concerto at the Aspen Music Festival.
- Violinist.com: "Hadelich negotiated it with incredible agility....With so much activity, change, and technical wizardry, it could have sounded like so many notes, yet Hadelich also brought a musical sensitivity that created context."
- The Aspen Times: "Hadelich blazed his way through a dizzying cadenza (written by the composer and pianist Thomas Adès), which gets increasingly manic until the orchestra puts an abrupt end to the proceedings"
Daniel Hope performed the Fletcher Violin Concerto at the Aspen Music Festival.
- Violinist.com: "Hope's playing was committed and on-spot -- just a pleasure to hear live."
- The Aspen Times: "With muscle and precision, Hope drew plenty of drama from his Guarneri instrument, alternately immersing its sound into the ensemble's and rising above it. It was ingratiating music that never flagged in its inventiveness."
Augustin Hadelich performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Aspen Festival Orchestra.
- Aspen Times: "A truly great classical musician can make a piece you might have heard 100 times before seem like you're experiencing it for the first time. Augustin Hadelich worked that magic with Mendelssohn's oft-played violin concerto Sunday in the Benedict Music Tent."
Lawrence Power performed the Bartók Viola Concerto with the Aspen Chamber Orchestra.
- Aspen Times: "Power commanded his instrument and shaped the music's dimensions and subtleties with grace and consummate expressivity in a stunning performance of the Bartók Viola Concerto..."
James Ehnes performed Beethoven sonatas with pianist Andrew Armstrong at the Aspen Music Festival.
- Aspen Times: "If the first half No. 3 in E-flat major and No. 4 in A minor seemed correct but a bit bland, the two G major sonatas, No. 8 and No. 10, emerged with gold-standard performances."
James Ehnes performed the James Newton Howard Violin Concerto with the Minnesota Orchestra.
- Pioneer Press: "Ehnes...filled Thursday’s performance with effusive emotions and technical virtuosity. His high lines were bright and beautiful, particularly on the elegiac slow movement, and his breakneck bowing on the finale was breathtaking."
Ray Chen performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.
- San Francisco Classical Voice: "His exceedingly long and limber fingers seemed to dance their way through the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D major."
Benjamin Beilman performed the Jennifer Higdon Violin Concerto with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
- J-Wire: (The Higdon concerto) works far better in live performance than it does as the recordings I’ve heard. This has a lot to do with how the soloist handles what is a fearsome workload....Beilman...was up to the task, with very few breathers during the 32 minutes duration. His cadenza towards the end of the first movement was an astonishing technical feat....although I had a preconceived judgement that I wouldn’t like it, I’m looking forward to its next performance."
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