The Week in Reviews, Op. 424: Rachel Barton Pine, Maxim Vengerov, Pekka Kuusisto
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 Rachel Barton Pine.
Rachel Barton Pine performed in recital with pianist Inna Faliks at Ravinia.
- Third Coast Review: "It is hard not to compare a work for solo violin with the standards set by Johann Sebastian Bach, and, in Pine’s hand, (Dolores) White’s (Blues Dialogues) held up well. Pine was able to create several simultaneous melodies from an instrument that only has four strings, only two of which can make sustained sounds at once."
Maxim Vengerov performed Brahms Violin Concerto with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
- The Dallas Morning News: "Vengerov delivered wispy intimations on high as well as impassioned but controlled climaxes. His own first movement cadenza was easily twice two long, but it certainly demonstrated his dazzling technique."
Pekka Kuusisto performed Nico Muhly's "Shrink" with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
- San Francisco Classical Voice: "...it’s a more or less conventionally structured thing, a fast-slow-fast violin concerto hovering pleasantly and unsentimentally between the poles of spiky neoclassicism and meditative stasis, with a perpetual-motion cadenza that links the second and third movements without pause. As an encore on Sunday, Kuusisto played a solo improvisation that sounded like a folk-song mash-up flecked with the occasional quarter tone."
Tessa Lark performed Michael Torke’s Sky Concerto for Violin with the Sarasota Orchestra.
- Herald-Tribune: "Lark’s command was wildly captivating...It was a true tour de force for Lark and orchestra as well. The audience roared its appreciation and wouldn’t let Lark depart."
Ray Chen performed the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
- Edinburgh Guide: "34-year-old Ray Chen was more than capable of rising to the challenge. It was Jascha Heifetz who first championed the Concerto, and what better to learn that Ray Chen was playing the Dolphin Stradivarius violin that once belonged to Heifetz and now on loan to him."
- BachTrack: "...his playing of Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D minor was pretty terrific, at least in the first movement. The opening solo was a gorgeous stream of legato, but it also featured light and shade aplenty, not just relentless full-beam."
Ilya Gringolts performed Lotta Wennäkoski's Violin Concerto "Prosoidia" with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
- Bachtrack: "As it unfolded, it seemed tailor-made for Gringolts’ mastery of the expressive qualities of his instrument, from the otherworldliness of harmonics to the rustic colours of folk song and the dark echo of Baroque refinement (a reference to the Sarabande of Bach’s Cello Suite no. 5). "
Augustin Hadelich performed the Dvorák’s Violin Concerto with the San Francisco Symphony.
- San Francisco Classical Voice: "...soloist Augustin Hadelich, the embodiment of decency in art, made the case for the entire piece. Always, he gives the illusion of 'just' playing the music — when often it’s he who makes the music worthy of being played."
Maxim Vengerov performed in recital with pianist Polina Osetinskaya at the Barbican Hall.
- Jewish News: "Any performance by Vengerov is hugely compelling and this was no different."
Pinchas Zukerman performed in recital with cellist Amanda Forsyth and pianist Michael Stephen Brown at Wolf Trap.
- Washington Classical Review: "Zukerman and Forsyth produced a well-blended duet on the strings-only sections of the second movement (of Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 1). Zukerman, master of the well-aimed glare, did his best to discourage applause between movements, mostly without success."
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