The Week in Reviews, Op. 302: Eldbjørg Hemsing; Nicola Benedetti; cellist Julie Albers
December 18, 2019, 12:32 PM · 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 Eldbjørg Hemsing. Photo by Nikolaj Lund.
Eldbjørg Hemsing performed Tan Dun's Violin Concerto: Rhapsody and Fantasia 2009 (revised 2018) with The Orchestra Now (TON).
- Broadway World: "The brilliant soloist Ms. Eldbjørg Hemsing brought the music to life, articulating each note with precision and richly dynamic expression."
Nicola Benedetti performed the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
- The Scotsman: "Benedetti enthralled us with moments of whispered magic (the teasing suggestiveness of the opening bars), mesmerising stillness (the hanging anticipation at the close of the slow movement, its axis connection to the ensuing finale, unfortunately killed by premature applause), and the heated virtuosity that permeates every mood expressed in this juicy, febrile score."
- The Herald Scotland: "From the carefully measured opening, through the early cadenza to her dialogue with first viola Tom Dunn in the lengthy first movement, each note was particularly distinct even in the fastest virtuoso passages. By the tuneful finale, it was undeniable that her playing seemed less “gutsy” than previously, and was all the more compelling for that."
- The Times: "I've never found this an easy concerto to love, but maybe I should have heard a performance like this one sooner."
Cellist Julie Albers performed Haydn's Cello Concerto in C with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
- Minneapolis Star Tribune: "Albers' finely tapered entries emerged as if from the orchestra itself, and her lissome, songful account of the opening movement had an elegance which made for intensely pleasurable listening."
The Zukerman Trio performed with the Iris Orchestra.
- Memphis Flyer: "The orchestra's lightness of touch provided a perfect setting for the more commanding tonalities of the trio, with Zukerman's almost Klezmer-like sonority, Cheng's rhythmic, rolling piano arpeggios, and Forsyth's melodic passages in the cello's higher registers being especially captivating."
Aizuri Quartet performed a concert in West Palm Beach.
- South Florida Classical Review: "The most conventional thing about Monday’s concert by the Aizuri Quartet was the reassuring presence of Haydn on the program. Beyond that, the cello got slapped like a bongo, they performed a rarely heard work of Sibelius and the melancholy tones of Armenian folk songs wafted from the stage."
Ayano Ninomiya and cellist Blaise Déjardin performed the Brahms Double Concerto with the Longwood Symphony Orchestra.
- Boston Globe: "...both soloists played with poise and mastery, Déjardin bringing unflappable elegance and a songful quality to a part more typically approached with volcanic intensity, and Ninomiya, at a slightly higher temperature, cutting through the orchestra with rhythmically emphatic, well-chiseled solo lines."
- The Boston Musical Intelligencer: "With exquisite communication and tone-matching, they completed each other’s phrases and captivated the small but select audience."
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December 18, 2019 at 09:55 PM · I can easily see how a febrile score would call for heated virtuosity.