The Week in Reviews, Op. 356: Osmo Vänskä's final Minnesota concerts; Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider; Matthew Lipman; Tracy Silverman
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.
Erin Keefe performed Mendelssohn's Concerto for Violin, Piano and Orchestra with pianist Juho Pohjonen in one of conductor Osmo Vänskä's final concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra, which also featured the late Jaakko Kuusisto's Symphony No. 1.
- Star Tribune: "The symphony was unfinished, but his younger brother, Pekka Kuusisto...set about completing the work from sketches his brother left behind, working through a grief compounded by their mother's death in April."
Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider performed Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Cleveland Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.
- New York Classical Review: "His playing invited us to follow, even as each step seems to have a hermetic meaning, something only he could understand. This kind of subtlety is infrequent on the big concert stage, and it was enthralling."
Matthew Lipman performed Richard Wernick’s Viola Concerto with the American Symphony Orchestra Sunday at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
- New York Classical Review: "In the second (and last) movement, '…into that good night,' the violist meditated with rich tone and arching phrases to minimal accompaniment, only the occasional stabbing chord and a long, diminuendo heartbeat on a low drum....Lipman was eloquent in both agitation and resignation."
- Financial Times: "Lipman was exceptional, with a velvety sound, filling each phrase with meaning. This was a masterly performance."
Tracy Silverman performed the world premiere of Roberto Sierra's "Ficciones," Concerto for Electric Violin and Orchestra, with the American Symphony Orchestra.
- New York Classical Review: "soloist Tracy Silverman’s electric violin...was a whole new instrument, as Silverman demonstrated in the work’s opening bars, scratching out a fiercely distorted low note that Jimi Hendrix would have been proud of. Thereafter, he artfully used a pedal to manage his wide-ranging timbre and dynamics."
- Financial Times: "Silverman...is a master of the six-stringed electric violin’s technical possibilities; he can shred like a rock guitarist in front of an orchestra. 'Ficciones' was inspired by the stories of Jorge Luis Borges and, like those, the music was a combination of dazzling and mysterious, with excellent playing from the orchestra. Silverman did indeed shred."
Blake Pouliot performed Corigliano’s Red Violin Chaconne for Violin and Orchestra with the Philadelphia Orchestra at its first-ever Pride Concert.
- Philadelphia Magazine: "...his performance was electric. He writhed around like a man possessed, growling, grimacing, and even audibly spitting on the stage. It was angry, it was passionate, and it was awesome."
The Kontras Quartet performed the world premiere of Amy Wurtz’ String Quartet No. 3 at Roosevelt University.
- Third Coast Review: "...this piece has a nice blend between tonality and atonality. Phrases often start with dissonant tension but end in consonant serenity."
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