The Week in Reviews, Op. 308: Christian Tetzlaff; Leila Josefowicz; Carolin Widmann; Midori
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 Christian Tetzlaff. Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
Christian Tetzlaff performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.
- Violinist.com: "When Tetzlaff plays, it's all about motion: the motion of the music, of the bow, of the hands, of the entire body -- and the meaning of that motion. Is it a dance, a military march, a heartbeat, a run to the finish line, the rocking of a baby, the breath between sobs of grief? Tetzlaff seems to know how to find the truth in it, and then paint it in a myriad of musical colors."
- Los Angeles Times: "The main draw was Beethoven, and the vehicle was his ubiquitous Violin Concerto, which LACO can play in its sleep. But with the fascinating violinist Christian Tetzlaff re-exploring and fully characterizing every bar of the piece, his silvery tone quality projected with a just-right halo of reverberation in the hall, there would be nothing ordinary about this performance."
- San Francisco Classical Voice: "Tetzlaff offered us something refreshingly different. The most immediately unusual wrinkle in the performance was that Tetzlaff played his transcriptions of the cadenzas that Beethoven wrote for his piano concerto arrangement (sometimes called the “Concerto No. 6”) of the Violin Concerto (he did not write cadenzas for the violin version)."
Leila Josefowicz performed Oliver Knussen's Violin Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra.
- The Plain Dealer: "Josefowicz on Thursday was its advocate, delivering a performance that emanated virtually from her bones and radiated every bit of its raw energy and lyrical potential."
- Scene: "...it is possible to see the insane talent a musician possesses while still thinking that a certain piece isn’t for you. Josefowicz, a former child prodigy who now has made it her life mission to bring new and fresh works to orchestra halls everywhere, made the case for Knussen’s work last night, stomping and banging her head for emphasis after treacherous, noodly passages."
Carolin Widmann performed Kurt Weill's Violin Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
- Los Angeles Times: "(the concerto has a sour, funereal opening that it never fully recovers from, even in the later more Mack-the Knife-ish moments....Widmann has a clean, cool tone. She plays with little vibrato. Everything comes out sounding true. If Weill’s winds drowned her out, so be it. Her scrupulous virtuosity needs no promotion. Weill didn’t find a solution here, the pull toward theater was already winning out. But heard in retrospect (the only way we can hear it), the concerto, especially in this excellent performance, had its own sad prescience: a world order was soon to end."
Midori performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra .
- Dallas Morning News: "Fastidious, lovingly shaped, Midori’s playing didn’t so much command our attention as draw us into its intimacies."
Philippe Quint performed music by Charlie Chaplin and other film music with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
- Broadway World: "Quint was just amazing playing ("Smile") while we watched a close-up of Chaplin's face on the big screen. It was very emotional....I will gladly see Quint perform again whenever I can."
Rachel Barton Pine performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
- EdinburghGuide.com: "It was a delightful performance. So often an encore can spoil the memory of a performance - but we were treated to Macintosh's Lament, a fiddle pibroch played on a fiddle with genuine Scottish ancestry and a Rachel Barton Pine speciality. The audience loved it."
William Hagen performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra.
- Chicago Classical Review: "Hagen is the real thing. He elicits a glowing tone from his 1732 “Arkwright Lady Rebecca Sylvan” Stradivarius, and plays with a poise and maturity beyond his 26 years."
Alexi Kenney performed a solo recital in New York.
- New York Times: "Juxtaposing Bach’s music with pieces of today is hardly an original idea; it tends to reveal the Baroque within the modern, and vice versa. But it was clear by the end of this breathless and often daring recital — a densely packed hour and 15 minutes — that Mr. Kenney was searching for something more profound."
Nicola Benedetti performed Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
- The Cambridge Independent: "Nicola of course took it in her stride, but although she has doubtlessly often performed it she displayed that concentration, absolute focus and dedication throughout, recognisably the hallmarks of a true musician who is able to bring to the work at hand the delight of an almost first encounter and transmit it to an audience."
Chee-Yun performed music by Halvorsen, Kodály, and Mendelssohn with the Palm Beach Symphony Chamber Ensemble.
- Palm Beach Daily News: "Korean-American Chee-Yun’s role in the program was collaborative rather than soloistic, her instrumentals of equal importance to those of the rest of the ensemble. Throughout the program, she performed flawlessly alongside commendable performances by members of the Chamber Ensemble."
Grace Clifford performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.
- InDaily: "The ASO’s emerging artist in association, Grace Clifford, was in absolute command, bringing exquisite control and flair to bear in her violin playing — and the local audience was rapt, calling for and getting a short encore."
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