The Week in Reviews, Op. 309: Janine Jansen; Isabelle Faust; Rachel Barton Pine
February 18, 2020, 6:38 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 Janine Jansen.
Janine Jansen performed Brahms’s Violin Concerto with the New York Philharmonic.
- The New York Times: "The overall effect was of a coiled energy that kept expanding because it was kept so controlled. Surely this was one of the most memorable star turns of the Philharmonic’s season so far."
- Limelight: "Her silvery tone has a deceptive heft to it and plenty of cut-through, riding the orchestra’s downy cushion, while demonstrating an instinctive grasp of the concerto’s blend of tension and release."
Isabelle Faust performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra.
- The Plain Dealer: "Most violinists steeped in period tradition eschew vibrato, as Faust did Thursday. Few, though, also possess such a pure tone, a sound so profoundly centered and smooth across all registers. Through the first and last movements, Faust was the musical equivalent of a laser beam, one that cut straight to the heart of every phrase."
Rachel Barton Pine performed the Barber Violin Concerto with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra.
- The News-Gazette: "Fireworks are Barton Pine’s specialty, and she and the orchestra flew through this whirlwind (third) movement with breathtaking effects. The applause from the standing audience was uproarious."
Baiba Skride performed Sofia Gubaidulina's "Offertorium" with the St. Louis Symphony.
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "Latvian soloist Baiba Skride handled the difficult passages fluidly, her left hand racing at times end-to-end on the fingerboard of her Stradivarius."
Midori performed Schumann's Violin Concerto in D minor with the Gonzaga Symphony Orchestra.
- The Spokesman-Review: "As if by magic, the work’s 'defects' made perfect sense, and Midori’s mastery of the concerto’s technical demands was so absolute one forgot it was the sound of horsehair on a string and not a heart and mind searching for beauty."
Nicola Benedetti performed Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with the New World Symphony.
- South Florida Classical Review: "n the opening melody of Allegro moderato, Benedetti gave the Russian folk theme a powerful sound, yet without sacrificing its lyrical qualities."
Ray Chen performed Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Pittsburgh Symphony.
- Pittsburgh Post-Review: "Mr. Chen stood out in the first two movements for his artistry and decisive yet long-form phrases building to peak after peak in a gripping account of the work."
Pinchas Zuckerman and Amanda Forsyth performed the Brahms Double with the Madison Symphony Orchestra.
- The Cap Times: "Forsyth and Zuckerman had wonderful onstage chemistry. There was a moment of pure magic in the development section of the first movement."
Karen Gomyo performed Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
- The Scotsman: "Enter violinist Karen Gomyo, whose brooding, burnished tone cut to the core of the Shostakovich, the subdued intensity of the opening, the snappy mischief of the scherzo, the gravitas of the Passacaglia before the emotional release of its cadenza, and driven energy of the Burlesque, all came together as one powerful, glowering entity."
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