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The Week in Reviews, Op. 8: Joshua Bell, Arabella Steinbacher, Hilary Hahn in concert

Robert Niles

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Published: November 12, 2013 at 5:47 PM [UTC]

Each week, brings you links to reviews of professional violin performances from around the world.

Joshua Bell performed sonatas by Beethoven and Tartini at the Constella Festival in Cincinnati

  • Cincinnati Enquirer: "Chalk it up to Bell’s gracious Midwestern upbringing, but Cincinnati was the beneficiary of an extraordinary evening of inspired music making by one of the great violinists of our time."

Joshua Bell
Photo by Eric Kabik

Arabella Steinbacher performed the Prokofiev Concerto No. 1 with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

  • The Tartan: "Steinbacher deftly alternated between choppy, halting notes and blindingly fast runs. The concerto ended on a heart-wrenchingly sweet note, with Steinbacher wringing every ounce of vibrato out of her fingers."
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "The conductor's balances were keenly drawn again, favoring Steinbacher, who has a lovely timbre, plenty of virtuosity and a gift for lyricism but does not have big sound…The 'Scheherzade' was very mesmerizing, the climax of a great concert with bold conducting and marvelous solos from first chair players, especially concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley."

Christian Teztlaff performed the Beethoven with the Cleveland Orchestra, in Frankfurt, Germany

  • The Plain Dealer: "Exquisite details abounded, yes, but only rarely did the violinist truly command attention, opting generally for intimacy and delicacy over boldness. The exception? His cadenzas, creative and appealing flights of fancy, the first of which even included a part for timpani."

Roger Wilkie performed the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra.

  • Long Beach Press-Telegram: "Wilkie was immediately at home in the work, which starts with a rich cadenza-like violin passage that soared and sang in seamless passages."

Hilary Hahn plays her ‘27 Pieces’ at a community-minded album release event at Greenwich House Music School in New York

  • New York Times: "What impressed most on Sunday was how well the package coheres — a matter of Ms. Hahn’s smart pacing — and how deftly Ms. Hahn negotiated constant shifts among disparate techniques and moods."

In other news, Jennifer Wey joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra this season as Assistant Concertmaster, and its youngest member, at age 23.

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