The Week in Reviews, Op. 378: Noah Bendix-Balgley; Anne Akiko Meyers; Paul Huang.
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 Noah Bendix-Balgley. Photo by Nikolaj Lund.
Noah Bendix-Balgley performed Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Major with the Berlin Philharmonic, in Boston's Symphony Hall, then in New York's Carnegie Hall.
- The Boston Musical Intelligencer: "First concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley performed with sweet tone, impeccable intonation, and a fine, lyrical sense of line. He also composed the well-conceived and effective cadenzas. The orchestra entered fully into it, with many smiles and nods passing around the various desks. Everyone seemed to catch fire in the vigorous finale as Balgley, relaxing a bit, also got fully into the swing of things."
- New York Times: "Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 1 — with Noah Bendix-Balgley, one of the orchestra’s concertmasters, as the soloist — sang with full-bodied sweetness....Bendix-Balgley returned after his affectionate performance of the Mozart for an encore of two keening, quicksilver klezmer tunes: a quiet benediction over a dark history."
Anne Akiko Meyers performed the world premiere of Michael Daugherty's "Blue Electra" violin concerto with the National Symphony Orchestra.
- Blogcritics: "'Blue Electra,' a violin concerto by Michael Daugherty and inspired by Amelia Earhart, featured an effervescent Anne Akiko Meyers at the top of her game."
- Washington Post: "'Blue Electra' — a four-movement violin concerto dedicated to Amelia Earhart — received a thrilling world premiere via soloist Anne Akiko Meyers. It’s a stunning, cinematic and relentlessly inventive stretch of music."
Paul Huang performed in recital with pianist Anne-Marie McDermott at Wolf Trap.
- Washington Classical Review: "The challenging program, carefully selected to highlight connections among pieces, elicited both startling virtuosity and lyrical beauty from both musicians."
Rachel Podger performed a recital of solo works at the Library of Congress.
- Washington Classical Review: "The sound of her playing proved just as delightful live as it is on her recording....Few musicians could demand such complete attention in such a program dominated largely by obscurities and narrate it with such understated charm and intelligence."
Gil Shaham performed Korngold's Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35 with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
- EarRelevant: "...it is clear from Thursday’s concert that the Violin Concerto remains totally vital in his hands: warm, vibrant, and full of unabashed joy."
Joshua Bell performed Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Geneva Lewis performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Arkansas Symphony.
- Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette: "...her first-movement playing focused intensely on the piece's passion and didn't take it at a blazing speed. She saved that for the perpetual-motion third movement, which she imbued with an almost mischievous Mendelssohn-ian quality."
Leila Josefowicz performed Helen Grime's 2016 Violin Concerto with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
- The St. Louis American: "The soloist almost never rested and almost always played at a feverish pitch...Grime's countryman George Orwell compared writing a novel to a long struggle with a horrible illness. Performing this soloist part must feel like that, though the music is not ugly, only edgy, unsettled, and unsettling."
Cellist Oliver Herbert performed Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C major with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra.
- Chicago Classical Review: "The young soloist consistently beguiled the ear with his nimble and individual phrasing, often making hairpin dynamic turns that always sounded convincing."
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