The Week in Reviews, Op. 347: Steven Copes; Patricia Kopatchinskaja; mandolinist Avi Avital
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.
St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Concertmaster Steven Copes.
Steven Copes performed Stephen Prutsman's arrangement of Prokofiev’s Violin Sonata No. 1 for violin and orchestra with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
- Pioneer Press: "Copes, wearing a ribbon with Ukraine’s colors, soars in his playing, and seems almost buoyed by the new arrangement played by his fellow musicians."
Patricia Kopatchinskaja performed the British premiere of Francisco Coll's Violin Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra.
- The Guardian: "In outline it’s very much a three-movement concerto in the virtuoso tradition, complete with cadenza and perfectly tailored to Kopatchinskaja’s extravagant talents, but it’s also a showcase for Coll’s own freewheeling orchestral virtuosity, his tangled, teeming invention, ear for vivid sonorities, and sly references to earlier music."
- Financial Times: "The work was written for livewire violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and her dynamism inspired its exploratory journey from headlong ferocity to a haunting central landscape of desolate, sometimes uneasy quiet. It exerts the grip of a major work."
Avi Avital performed the U.S. premiere of Jennifer Higdon's Mandolin Concerto with the Chicago Philharmonic.
- Chicago Classical Review: "How was it possible for a mere mortal to move so deftly and accurately across eight tightly packed strings, all the while strumming at supersonic speeds? Higdon has reinvented the mandolin for the early 21st century and has found her ideal musical soulmate in the ever-astonishing Avital."
- EarRelevant: "It is in Higdon’s own accessible and increasingly familiar compositional voice—warm and expressive, at times highly charged and at others lyrically graceful—and she leaves plenty of room in the orchestration for the mandolin to be heard clearly. Kudos to all. We got a genuinely delightful and engaging performance."
Hilary Hahn performed a chamber concert with cellist Seth Parker Woods and pianist Andreas Haefliger at Chicago's Symphony Center.
- Third Coast Review: " In a tonal key, ("be still and know is," a piece Carlos Simon wrote in 2015) is a wonderfully meditative work in which the ensemble perfectly meshed."
Timothy Chooi performed Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor with the Sarasota Orchestra.
- Herald-Tribune: "Chooi’s strengths seemed to be in the tonal beauty and nuance which he clearly displayed in his encore, the Andante from Bach’s Sonata No. 2 for violin. It was beautiful. "
William Shaub performed in the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra’s Concertmaster Series.
- Arts Knoxville: "Since its inception, the joy of the (series) has actually been its crescendo of dual attractions — shorter, intriguing works, often virtuosic...followed by a major piece for larger ensemble consisting of Concertmaster William Shaub and some of his colleagues from the orchestra."
Stella Chen performed with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at Wolf Trap.
- Washington Classical Review: "Violinist Stella Chen was the star of the opening work, Beethoven’s String Trio No. 3, her bravura tone a brilliant match for all of the composer’s considerable demands."
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