The Week in Reviews, Op. 296: Julia Fischer; Joshua Bell; 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.
Violinist Julia Fischer. Photo by Uwe Arens, Decca.
Julia Fischer performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the New York Philharmonic.
- The New York Times: "Her glowing tone was impressively focused and lucid: Every note mattered. When she shaped a phrase with expressive liberties, she maintained eloquence and direction and never wallowed in excessive vibrato. The slow movement was especially fine, rendered with Mozartean grace. The rippling finale came across as infectiously spirited but never breathless."
Joshua Bell performed in recital with pianist Alessio Bax at Bing Concert Hall Stanford University.
- San Francisco Classical Voice: "Bell showed a mastery of variety of tone quality within a generally unified sound. He also demonstrated an exquisite command of line and phrasing. Every melodic turn was eloquently expressed."
Joshua Bell performed in recital with pianist Alessio Bax at Disney Hall in Los Angeles.
- Violinist.com: "..he took that flurry of notes (in Ysaÿe's 'Ballade') and made it into a bigger whole, with plenty of revelations along the way for someone who has heard the piece many times."
Augustin Hadelich, performed the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
- The Seattle Times: "He played the well-worn concerto as if it had been freshly invented: all flowing lines and an effortless lyricism, nailing each pitch dead center, and creating a succession of breathtaking little expressive moments. A few of these: that exquisite tiny pause just before the first appearance of the first-movement melody; and the unbelievable technical finesse of the cadenza — which Hadelich wrote."
Leila Josefowicz performed Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto with the Minnesota Orchestra.
- Minneapolis Star Tribune: "Josefowicz was totally engaged...and used the liberal volleys of multi-stopped chords to galvanize attention and communicate the concerto’s bristling vitality."
performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
- Chicago Tribune: "Of particular interest were the cadenzas: Kavakos transcribed them from Beethoven’s keyboard version of the concerto, including the unusual and extensive use of timpani in the first movement solo. These were intriguing curiosities."
- WTTW: "...the work’s familiar melody seemed to be infused with a new sense of both aching sweetness and mystery. And the delicacy of Kavakos’ playing – the intense quiet of the concerto’s first solo passages that made for the most careful listening, and the highly individualistic quality of its most virtuosic sequences – was breathtaking."
- Chicago Classical Review: "Friday afternoon’s Beethoven showed Kavakos alternating between his strange and inspired modes, probing moments mixing with the odd and self-aggrandizing."
James Ehnes performed John Williams' Violin Concerto with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "It’s extremely challenging technically for the soloist, who plays almost nonstop; a busy, sometimes atonal and frequently unsettling work....Ehnes received a richly deserved ovation, and performed two encores."
Stefan Jackiw performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Portland Symphony Orchestra.
- Portland Press Herald: "...he kept Beethoven’s supple, sometimes bittersweet themes singing with a rich tone and a lovely sense of shape that complemented (conductor Eckart) Preu’s approach to the orchestral writing."
Tessa Lark performed Michael Torke’s "Sky Concerto" with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra
- Green Valley News: "The concerto is a veritable “killer” for the violinist with such a flurry of notes taken at such a dizzying tempo that she is still using the score after several performances. In fact, one wonders if the human brain is even capable of committing such a work to memory."
Robyn Bollinger performed a solo violin recital at Temple Shalom near Boston.
- The Boston Musical Intelligencer: "It is true that the recital could be divided into 'Encores' and 'Ciaconnes,' but it also opened a tantalizing glimpse into the rich offerings of the solo violin literature."
Quatuor Ébène performed quartets by Beethoven at Elisabeth Murdoch Hall in Melbourne.
- Limelight: "...the smallish but attentive and enthusiastic audience was treated to a trio of Beethoven string quartets delivered with the most extraordinary energy, insight and sensitivity as any music lover could hope to hear in the world today."
Peter Clarke performed Florence Price's Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major with the La Jolla Symphony.
- The San Diego Union-Tribune: "Peter Clarke, co-concertmaster of the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, gave a strong account of Price’s concerto, with Schick and musicians providing admirable support."
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