The Week in Reviews, Op. 348: Itzhak Perlman; James Ehnes; Hilary Hahn

April 12, 2022, 12:43 PM · In an effort to promote the coverage of live violin performance, each week presents links to reviews of notable concerts and recitals around the world.

Itzhak Perlman performed in recital with pianist Rohan De Silva.

Itzhak Perlman
Violinist Itzhak Perlman.

James Ehnes performed the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Hilary Hahn performed music of Ginastera and Sarasate with the Utah Symphony.

Gabriela Diaz performed Ellen Taaffee Zwilich's 'Commedia Dell’Arte' with Boston Modern Orchestra Project.

James Ehnes performed the Korngold Violin Concerto with Canada's National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Ensemble Connect performed a chamber music concert at Weil Recital Hall.

Tamsin Waley-Cohen performed the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra.

Tobias Breider performed Carl Stamitz's Viola Concerto with the Sydney Symphony.

Please support music in your community by attending a concert or recital whenever you can!

You might also like:


April 12, 2022 at 07:43 PM · Fortunately, we live in an era which has nurtured many, many genuinely artistic and wonderfully talented string players.

Unfortunately, the world-wide pandemic problem of the past 2 years has limited live performances everywhere.

Thank goodness we also live in an era of a highly sophisticated and readily available recording industry.

April 13, 2022 at 02:32 AM · Ah yes, the "golden era" of violin playing. I'm calling that out as total rubbish. If there's a golden era of violin playing, it's right now. Augustin Hadelich is just as good as Heifetz. Ray Chen is just as good as Milstein. Kavakos is just as good as Grumiaux. Hahn is better than Oistrakh. Kremer, Benedetti, Bell, and Mutter are better than Stern, Szeryng, Szigeti, or Elman. Jansen is better than Grumiaux. I'd love to be able to hear Fritz Kreisler live just for the novelty but I'll bet Paul Huang is a better player.

And by the way it's also a golden age of violin making. Today's best makers are just as good as anyone who has ever made violins.

Of course, the makers and players of today have the colossal advantage of being able to study the work of their predecessors.

April 13, 2022 at 02:12 PM · Paul: I agree. The golden age never ended.

April 13, 2022 at 04:24 PM · Paul: excellent comparisons. We are also benefitting from a golden age of technology where we can be quite familiar with all of these artists, their playing, multiple reviews, and a wealth of opportunity to "see" them over and over again - often in good quality video. And I enjoy all of the comparisons that can be made so that we can see the changes in style. Recently, Daniel Kurganov did an excellent podcast on true legato and gave quite a few examples from across the available videos comparing many of these artists. We are rich with musical gold for our delight and learning.

April 13, 2022 at 05:28 PM · Hard disagree, Paul. I'll give you Hadelich and Mutter, but I don't think the rest have the taste of their forerunners. I'll go to Oistrakh gladly to listen to anything, but Hahn doesn't match up. And I'm sorry, but for as polished as Janine Jansen is, her playing is just boring. Ehnes too leaves me totally cold (in recordings and when I saw him live).

I don't have a great argument - It's probably just a matter of taste.

April 13, 2022 at 06:40 PM · I read also that the past 20 years have been considered a "golden age of astronomy." Small wonder -- not only better hardware like telescopes in space but huge advances in software too -- a few mouse clicks and the stars don't twinkle any more, that kind of thing. What will the next 20 years bring? Hopefully more gorgeous photos of nebulae, planets around other stars, the surface of Mars, etc. Just within the last couple of months someone discovered a planet around a faraway star that has forced astronomers to rethink how planets form in the first place. In modern times, there really aren't all that many things that will ever cause the present to be anything other than a golden age -- and unfortunately those include pandemics, famine, and war.

April 14, 2022 at 03:13 AM · Well there is indeed some incredibly virtuosic playing today of a very high caliber. Our modern virtuosos are in the Heifetz school of tone which is a very good place to be but I cannot help but long for someone with a Thibaud, or Kreisler, or Ysaye tonal palate to rise to the forefront. I am not sure such a person would make it past the contest juries.

April 14, 2022 at 07:27 PM · Paul, I understand what you are saying and agree that current players certainly deserve their due and are every bit as "golden"! But I think she's referring to a specific style of early 20th-century playing, with more slides and romantic phrasing, and Perlman does embody that in his playing.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Facebook YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Anne Cole Violin Maker
Anne Cole Violin Maker

The Soraya
The Soraya

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Classic Violin Olympus

Coltman Chamber Music Competition

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Jargar Strings


Violin Lab



Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine