The Week in Reviews, Op. 387: Emerson String Quartet; Rachel Barton Pine; Joshua Bell
February 14, 2023, 1:40 PM · 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.
The Emerson String Quartet: Paul Watkins, Lawrence Dutton, Philip Setzer and Eugene Drucker.
The Emerson String Quartet performed a farewell tour concert in St. Paul.
- TwinCities.com: "ESQ’s performance of (Shostakovich's) String Quartet No. 12 was eerie, and cinematic. The music crept and crawled, with its ominous pizzicato and haunting high notes. In the musicians’ hands, the work reverberated with an existential mood in the first movement. "
Rachel Barton Pine performed Florence Price’s Violin Concerto No. 2 and Sarasate’s "Carmen Fantasy" with the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra.
- Washington Classical Review: "Pine has worked to get the full measure of (the Price concerto); on Saturday you could hear the interpretive decisions she’s made, the through-lines she brought out, the subtle arcs to phrases to give them more poise or poignancy."
Joshua Bell performed in recital with Peter Dugan at the Kennedy Center.
- Financial Times: "...a first-class American recital executed with flair, nuance and technical prowess; a proper joy to behold....Presenting this very familiar music...with such breathtaking excellence, Bell and Dugan were able to cast these pieces into new relief. No wonder the standing ovation was instantaneous, the atmosphere as warm inside the hall as the breeze rolling off the Potomac outside."
Midori performed a recital of solo works at at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall.
- New York Classical Review: "The violinist Midori...gave an object lesson in realizing the intricate contrapuntal thoughts of J.S. Bach on an instrument with just four strings...Two very up-to-date solo works by Thierry Escaich and John Zorn were the tangy sorbets between the substantial Baroque courses....Midori hurled herself into the daunting score with fire and enthusiasm."
Elena Urioste performed the Elgar Violin Concerto with the Orchestra of Opera North.
- The Reviews Hub: " he glory of the work comes in the final movement, what the programme calls “the emotional core of the work” – the accompanied cadenza. Here Urioste asserted the dream-like quality of Elgar’s writing across a background of strings, both pizzicato and bowed, building an atmospheric sound."
Sayaka Shoji performed Sergei Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
- EarRelevant: "Shoji blended subtlety and a modest dose of passion into a musical and intelligent performance. Much like Midori, Shoji has both the musicianship and the technical chops but does not have a large, projecting sound. For that very reason, this Prokoviev concerto suits her as a vehicle, helping her sound emerge from the orchestral texture to the audience."
Jeff Thayer performed Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 3 with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.
- Broadway World: "The opening tempo was energetic, as called for, and Thayer demonstrated impressive technique, accurate in pitch and articulation even in the perils of the first movement's long cadenza."
Francesca Dego performed Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with the National Symphony Orchestra, in her Kennedy Center debut.
- Washington Classical Review: "The Italian-born violinist brought out the wolfish side of her Francesco Ruggeri violin (Cremona, 1697) in the gloomy first theme of the opening movement."
Vladyslava Luchenko performed the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra at Houghton University.
- The Houghton Start: "The skill level that she displayed was on a level that I cannot imagine many musicians reaching in their lifetime – yet, her performance was nothing less than inspiring."
Pekka Kuusisto performed a program co-curated with Swedish composer Jesper Nordin with members of the San Francisco Symphony.
- San Francisco Classical Voice: "The two Nordin pieces left no doubt at all of Kuusisto’s virtuosic prowess and intense focus. Interspersed among the evening’s other works, he played, with relaxed beauty and refined tone, a pair of traditional tunes, 'Arepolska,' after Per Danielsson, and 'Polska,' after Pekkos Per. You could have danced to each of these."
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