The Week in Reviews, Op. 336: Elina Vähälä; Hilary Hahn; Leonidas Kavakos
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 Elina Vähälä.
Elina Vähälä performed the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Minnesota Orchestra.
- Star Tribune: "...Vähälä's playing on the early-model concerto was breathtaking, full of fluidity and flair, her tone full-bodied and resonant....You seldom see a partial standing ovation after a work's opening movement, but the violinist earned one."
- TwinCities.com: "...played by the elegant and masterful Finnish violinist Elina Vähälä....even if the final version of Sibelius’s concerto is more concise and edited down, the earlier version had its own fire, and certainly meaty stuff for the virtuosic Vähälä to spin her magic."
Hilary Hahn performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
- Boston Globe: "She was at her most compelling in her earthy take on the “Turkish” sections of the final movement, and in her encore of solo Bach (the Gigue from the Third Partita), delivered with a tone of unalloyed beauty."
Leonidas Kavakos performed the world premiere of Unsuk Chin's second violin concerto, "Scherben der Stille," with the London Symphony Orchestra.
- The Guardian: "The solo writing is strenuously demanding – Kavakos seemed totally at ease with every one of its challenges – while the LSO relished all the usual glitter and playful fizz of Chin’s sound world. But this time there seems to be an undertow of deep seriousness to the brilliance too, which sometimes takes the music in unexpectedly dark directions."
- Financial Times: "Kavakos proved a tireless soloist, engaged in an almost constant dialogue with the orchestra, though not all the material is memorable."
Elena Urioste performed Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Violin Concerto in G minor with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
- Texas Classical Review: "Violinist Elena Urioste has technique and lyricism aplenty, qualities needed for this concerto. Double stopped passages and showy runs dot the faster first and third movements, while the slow second movement shows off right-hand technique and musicality in long, languorous lines."
Johnny Gandelsman performed a solo recital called "This Is America" for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.
- The Philadelphia Inquirer: "As a soloist, Gandelsman clearly has much on his mind and many composer friends, having 20-plus pieces commissioned from organizations, from Philadelphia to Portland, totaling four hours of solo violin music that will eventually be recorded and released under the title of 'This is America'....The Thursday concert selected seven pieces from this body of work....Throughout, Gandelsman proved he was a violinist who can do anything."
Andrés Cárdenes performed and conducted two violin concertos from "La Stravaganza,"by Antonio Vivaldi with The Symphonia.
- South Florida Classical Review: "Clear and forceful with his iron-fingered technique, the rapid scales and arpeggios swelled to climaxes and ebbed away, never turning into the rote patterns they could be in lesser musical hands. In the second movement, he brought a singing tone and seamless phrasing to the long, operatic melody."
Maya Anjali Buchanan performed Alexander Glazunov’s Violin Concerto with the Albany Symphony Orchestra.
- The Daily Gazette: "...she played this very romantic work with a deep rich tone, facile technique and a sweetly romantic lyricism."
Tracy Silverman performed John Adam’s 'The Dharma at Big Sur' with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
- Washington Classical Review: "Adams conceived the piece after hearing Silverman play the electric violin at a jazz club in 2002, and his more vernacular style of bends and slides and blue notes strongly influenced the shape of the work....Silverman and (conductor Ryan) Bancroft collaborated with rhythmic ease on a reading that communicated dharma, the Buddhist concept of universal truth, with consummate California cool."
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