The Week in Reviews, Op. 306: Chee-Yun; Daniel Hope; Gil Shaham
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 Chee-Yun Kim.
Chee-Yun performed Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64. with the Palm Beach Symphony.
- Palm Beach Daily News: "Chee-Yun was radiant and precise on stage, eliciting bright and thatchy tones from her instrument. She sang in the lyrical sections of the well-known concerto, but showed her strengths in the technical passages, with constant runs and crescendos timed perfectly with an orchestra that lived dangerously on the off-beat."
Daniel Hope and mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke performed “Intonations" with a quartet of San Francisco Opera Orchestra musicians, using the Violins of Hope.
- Datebook: "Cooke and Hope collaborated in a performance of striking immediacy and force, their melodic lines now fusing and now operating in eloquent counterpoint. You could hear the dramatic premise of the cycle — that the human singer and the solo violin were the same voice, one with words and one without — come alive in their interactions."
Gil Shaham performed Dvorak's Violin Concerto with the Dallas Symphony.
- Theater Jones: "This concerto is not heard as often as others in the repertoire and it was a pleasure to hear it, especially in the hands of Shaham. He gave it an intense reading, sometimes even to the point of sacrificing his refined sound to drama. But when he employed his more usual sound as contrast, he delivered some absolutely beautiful playing."
- Texas Classical Review: "Shaham demonstrated virtuosity and skill — utterly alive in the numerous striking phrases of the first movement and appropriately warm in the closing cadenza that led seamlessly into the slower second movement."
Augustin Hadelich performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Spokane Symphony.
- The Spokesman Review: "(Conductor Mark Russell) Smith found an ideal partner in his pursuit of emotional intensity in Hadelich, whose rendition of the Violin Concerto was of such freshness and spontaneity as to suggest he was encountering the music for the first time."
Leila Josefowicz performed John Adams' Violin Concerto with the San Diego Symphony.
- The San Diego Union-Tribune: "Josefowicz dug into her part with gusto. It was a performance marked with passion and humor in the two outer movements. The slow inner movement is a woozy take on the ground bass from the Pachelbel Canon — a piece that musicians love to hate."
David Coucheron performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "During the violin concerto, luxuriant strings and an impeccable ensemble blend created an ideal platform for Coucheron, who bounded and leaped through disjunct, heady passages of notes with sparkling beauty. Listening to Coucheron perform is like hearing again from a dear friend after a short absence."
Vadim Gluzman performed Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Houston Symphony.
- Houston Chronical: "Due to Gluzman’s unflagging precision and vitality, the concerto did not seem all that technically dazzling — at least not compared to the Paganini — but the spell he cast over the audience grew larger the longer it went on. "
Martin Chalifour performed solos by Bach and Telemann with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
- Los Angeles Times: "(Conductor Emmanuelle) Haïm began her program with concertmaster Martin Chalifour as the eloquent soloist in Bach’s G-Minor Violin Concerto and Telemann’s hilariously quirky, croaky violin concerto known as, and sounding like, 'The Frogs.'"
Jennifer Koh performed Philip Glass’ Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.
- The Oklahoman: "The first half finished on a beautiful note with Koh’s encore of solo Bach, a stunningly emotive contrast with the impersonal Glass concerto."
Randall Goosby performed Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.
- Hartford Courant: "He had all the flash and speed one could want, but without sacrificing quality or expressivity. He handled the difficult, virtuosic passages and the lyrical slow movement themes with equal deftness."
Lisa Batiashvili performed the Berg Violin Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra.
- theartsdesk.com: "Her tone is rich but strident, and she played much of the concerto, including the opening solo, without vibrato, the sound bare, even confrontational. As the textures grew, she warmed her sound, and began shaping phrases more generously, yet the austerity was still felt."
Alice Lee performed Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No.2 with Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
- Edmonton Journal: "She clearly has affection for the lyricism of the music, particularly in the first two movements, and, with her rich tone across the range, she brought out the singing qualities of the solo writing."
Janusz Wawrowski performed Karol Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic.
- Palm Beach Daily News: "Wawrowski’s flawless technique and the clear tone of his 'Polonia' Stradivarius helped in delivering a deeply touching performance."
Joshua Bell performed Bach with Academy of St Martin in the Fields in Edinburgh.
- Edinburgh Evening News: "...this was the perfect introduction to this world famous chamber orchestra's sinuous skills, led by the charismatic Joshua Bell, who displayed the elasticity of a musical John Cleese as he directed with bow and body, including at one point it seemed his foot."
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