The Week in Reviews, Op. 372: Stefan Jackiw; Blake Pouliot; Nicola Benedetti; JACK Quartet
October 4, 2022, 12:41 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 Stefan Jackiw.
Stefan Jackiw performed Britten’s Violin Concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
- The Scotsman: "The American violinist Stefan Jackiw had its full measure, his playing style calm and confident, yet packed with such powerful and perceptive musicality that every gesture, every paragraph was meaningful and emotive. Most of all, he had the intellectual stamina to sustain attention to the very final utterance."
- The Herald: "As for the demands on the violin soloist, those are considerable and American Stefan Jackiw is a player of prodigious talent who has something of the showman about him as well. The fast second movement ends with a virtuosic cadenza of many contrasts and technical challenges, which he revelled in, and the work has a long dying fall, full of bent, bluesy notes that he played with expressive zeal. An encore of Bach was the icing on the cake."
- Edinburgh Guide.com: " The Orchestra left him to it many a time and it was exciting to watch, really exciting....He introduced his much deserved and calming J. S. Bach Largo encore with the same clear charming confidence he had shown at the pre-concert talk."
Blake Pouliot performed Bruch's "Scottish Fantasy" with the Arkansas Symphony, subbing for Rachel Barton Pine.
- Arkansas Democrat Gazette: "Pouliot was absolutely spellbinding in Max Bruch's "Scottish Fantasy". His stage presence was only the beginning; he assayed the piece's complex demands brilliantly, playing with both motion and emotion."
Nicola Benedetti performed the premiere of James MacMillan’s Second Violin Concerto with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
- The Guardian: "The concerto received a committed and accomplished performance from Benedetti, whose playing combines soaring lyrical sweetness with muscular confidence. It is a work as intriguing and evocative as it is approachable, even if at first hearing the shift into the light in the closing bars doesn’t quite convince."
The JACK Quartet performed works by Liza Lim at the Miller Theater at Columbia University.
- The New York Times: "...ghostly ensemble textures for the entire quartet were the highlight. At times, the group seemed to fall in lock step, cohering around a mechanical Minimalism. But while keeping the hushed dynamics steady, Lim bent individual string lines away from the expected polyphonic patterns."
Anne-Sophie Mutter performed John Williams' Second Violin Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at its opening Gala.
- LA Times: "Others will take up the Second Violin Concerto, but it is pure Mutter in a way that none of the other concertos written for her (such as the great one by Witold Lutoslawski) are."
Anne Akiko Meyers performed Arturo Márquez' "Fandango" Violin Concerto with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.
- Green Valley News: "Meyers was more than up to the challenge with enough runs and arpeggios flashing off her bow and her 1741 Guarneri instrument to sail to Hermosillo."
Midori performed Korngold's Violin Concerto with the Buffalo Philharmonic.
- Buffalo Rising: "Midori plays quietly but in Kleinhans (Music Hall), you could hear every note. More importantly, her very presence seemed to inspire the orchestra to greater heights."
Sarah Chang performed the Bruch Violin Concerto with the Grand Rapids Symphony.
- Broadway World Michigan: "Sarah is one of those string players that you couldn't take your eyes off the whole time she was on stage. She was able to capture the emotion of the piece in her facial expressions both when she was playing and in between."
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