Patrick Hu

Jennifer Koh playing the Tchaikovsky!

March 19, 2007 23:22

Yesterday, Sunday, I attended a concert with the Honolulu Symphony featuring Jennifer Koh as soloist performing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. And as we all know, she tied with anastasia chebotareva for the silver medal at the Tchaikovsky in '94. So hearing her was just a must!

The concert started out with a beautiful rendition of Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring. My teacher (concertmaster iggy jang) performed his solos so beautifully...and it was just an all-around superb performance.

Then it was time for Jennifer Koh. From the moment she walked out on stage, I could tell how much she enjoyed being up on stage. She sparkled with joy and you never saw anything other than a smile on her face. She performed the Tchaikovsky with such a beautiful tone and wonderful musical sense. It was one of the most captivating performances I have ever witnessed. Her second movement was so haunting that the lady next to me had tears in her eyes (I promise!). I won't go into detail about each movement etc, but I will say that her first movement was my favorite out of the thirty different recordings/performances I have heard. Her third movement was also great...very fiery and very very very fast.

In the end, the audience gave her a standing ovation and four curtain calls for her performance...just wonderful! I got to meet Mrs. Koh (I saw a ring on her ring finger so i'm assuming she's now a mrs.) after her performance and she was so kind and gracious! I told her to come back to hawaii as much as she wanted and she told me "most definetely".

Anyway, after that performance, I came home and practiced the tchaikovsky concerto for three straight hours...I was that inspired, and her performance gave me lots of new ideas musically to add to my own interpretation.

And then, when my body became tired, I laid in my bed thinking that the Tchaikovsky Concerto was made for Jennifer Koh...she was just that good!


Now on to another topic: the Vitali Chaconne. I played this piece about three years ago, and interpretation wise, I used the "milstein" version. I played it with a very baroque style, which my teacher said was a must, and learned it by listening to Milstein's version over and over. Now I'm picking it back up to relearn, and in terms of interpretation, my friend told me that it was okay to play it with a romanticized feeling.

I asked why, and he said that there were lots of theories about this particular piece and that many historians and violinists are certain the piece was written by Ferdinand David as an homage to Vitali. Now if that was the case, then David was clearly performing during the romantic that would mean it would be okay to perform it in such a manner? I researched a bit on this theory and one website says there's scientific evidence for these claims!

And because of this, i am relearning the chcaconne through other recordings like Sarah Chang (which imo is very romanticized) and others to learn how to approach this piece in a completely different light. For myself, being 'stylistic' is very important. If I'm playing a baroque piece, I try as much as possible to play in that style.

Anyway, does anyone else have any thoughts on this?

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