The Week in Reviews, Op. 274: Pekka Kuusisto; James Ehnes; Sergei Dogadin
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 Pekka Kuusisto. Photo by Maija Tammi.
Pekka Kuusisto performed Stravinsky's Violin Concerto with the Philharmonia.
- The Guardian: "Pekka Kuusisto was the unexpectedly restrained soloist in a performance that identified the second of the work’s two arias as its expressive centre of gravity, and made the most of the work’s baroque affiliations; as if to underline that connection, Kuusisto’s encore was some Bach, played with whispering intimacy."
- theartsdesk.com: "I couldn’t decide whether I found Kuusisto’s approach a refreshing new reading of the piece, or simply mannered. It wasn’t until the third movement, Aria II, that I really warmed to him."
James Ehnes performed Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.
- NZHerald: "Opening cadenzas were irresistibly persuasive and we were easily dazzled by his unerring doubt-stopping when the tempo took off. Streamlined passage work was as diaphanous as the best of Mendelssohn and, in the creamy Adagio, one felt the passion of his playing inspiring the orchestral strings around him. And it's not every violinist who can deliver sizzling Gypsy fire in Bruch's finale without losing his elegant cool."
Sergei Dogadin performed Glazunov’s Violin Concerto with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra
- The West Australian: "It was a very Russian expression, matching Dogadin’s muscular embrace of this challenging piece, a rich and haunting tone to the solo entry leaving no mistake about the origin and artistry."
- Limelight: "It was then to Dogadin’s credit that his performance, even in the substantial cadenza, eschewed any sense of flashy virtuosity, opting instead to contrast a light sprezzatura with a serious, almost philosophical, expressivity. The flashy virtuosity – though with tongue firmly in cheek – Dogadin saved for his generous encore, Paganini’s introduction and variations on Nel cor piu non mi sento. An utter delight."
Philippe Quint performed in recital with pianist Peter Dugan at The Juilliard School's Paul Hall.
- Violinist.com: "Together they proved a well-synchronized team - the intricacies of the first movement 'Allegro' of the Beethoven Sonata fit together like clockwork."
Alexander Barantschik performed Bach’s E-Major Violin Concerto with the San Francisco Symphony.
- San Francisco Classical Voice: "In addition to playing along with the orchestral violins during the tuttis, Barantschik seemed to be doing what he could to meld his sound and playing style with the orchestra. This aspect of the music was smooth and elegant, and virtuosity was displayed modestly."
- Datebook: "Barantschik’s work within the orchestra is rich, probing and thoughtful; whenever he takes the stage as a concerto soloist, he always seems eager just to get it over with as quickly as possible."
Simone Porter performed Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No.1 with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
- Edmonton Journal: "This was one of those wonderful occasions where all the elements — the orchestral playing, the conducting, and the solo playing — magically came together to be so much more than the sum of the parts."
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