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The Week in Reviews, Op. 30: Veronika Eberle, Lisa Batiashvili, Ilya Gringolts in concert

Robert Niles

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Published: May 6, 2014 at 5:42 PM [UTC]

In an effort to promote the coverage of live music, each week brings you links to reviews of notable violin performances from around the world.

Veronika Eberle performed the Beethoven with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra

  • Pioneer Press: "What she offered at Stillwater's Trinity Lutheran Church Thursday night was among the most exciting, pulse-pounding, confidently rendered interpretations of the Beethoven Violin Concerto that I've encountered in decades of concerts."

Veronika Eberle
Photo by Jan Northoff, courtesy the artist

Lisa Batiashvili performed the Bartok with the Philadelphia Orchestra, in Philadelphia and at Carnegie Hall

  • Phildelphia Inquirer: "Nézet-Séguin connected with the piece more than guest soloist Lisa Batiashvili, a superb world-class violinist who played with wonderful lyrical sweetness while the conductor found certain momentousness in the most unimposing oboe entrance."
  • New York Times: " Ms. Batiashvili played (the opening movement) with glowing sound and somber beauty. The vigorous, feisty second movement is like a cross between a symphonic scherzo and an Eastern European dance. Ms. Batiashvili gave a crisp, brilliant and effortless performance."
  • New York Classical Review: "As she so often has, Batiashvili demonstrated that she has a wild virtuosic spirit, raging through her flawless technique without ever endangering it."

Vilde Frang performed the Britten with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra

  • Herald Scotland: "From the day and hour that I first heard Norwegian violinist Vilde Frang, when she looked about 12, though must have been a bit older, I thought there was greatness in her."
  • The Scotsman: "Her approach exuded just the right balance of dreamy lyricism and gut-wrenching emotion and she wore the virtuosity demanded extremely lightly."

Hilary Hahn performed in recital with pianist Cory Smythe, in Seattle

  • Seattle Times: "Regardless of what she plays, Hahn is an utterly convincing interpreter who makes the music sound natural and unforced — even easy, when it’s decidedly not easy at all."

Renaud Capucon performed the Dusapin with the BBC Symphony Orchestra

  • The Telegraph: "The soloist was Renaud Capucon, who proved once again that in terms of thrilling depth of tone his equal is hard to find among violinists today."

Augustin Hadelich performed the Mendelssohn with Symphony in C

  • Phildelphia Inquirer: "His playing energized every note in the line, balanced the sound with the orchestral sections and seemed to let Mendelssohn speak for himself."

Ilya Gringolts performed the Bruch with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra

  • The Straits Times: "Taking a measured, introspective approach that inevitably sacrificed a degree of warmth, he offered a fresh reading of a well played romantic concerto. Less predictable than other performances, his playing was always true to Bruch's writing - thoughtful and captivating."

Ray Chen performed Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

  • Liverpool Echo: "An elegant musical pugilist, Chen radiates energy without distracting flamboyant flourishes, knees slightly bent as he leans through the music, and delivering a wonderfully sonorous tone on his 1702 Stradivarius."

Alexander Balanescu performed the Nyman with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

  • The Guardian: "As in 2003's violin concerto, played here by Alexander Balanescu, there's a sense that the composer's conceptual ambitions override his musical sense."
  • Morning Star: "With Alexander Balanescu as lead in Violin Concerto No 1, gentle harmonics are abandoned for the sake of exploring severe abstraction, jagged musical forms and distinctly abrasive structures of time."

Samuel Milner performed the Bruch with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra

  • The StarPhoenix: "Music is more than just notes on a page and Milner made his instrument truly sing. When he raced up and down scales, he took the audience with him; when he held a single, beautiful note, you caught yourself holding your breath."

We'd love to hear about any recent concerts and recitals you've attended, too. Or just tell us in the comments what you think about these reviews!

From Michael Nelson
Posted on May 6, 2014 at 10:29 PM
For this youtube video of Lisa Batiashvili there is a comment: "I definitely hear vibrato but no hand movement at 55. Odd?". I checked and noted the same. Can anyone explain?

From Paul Deck
Posted on May 7, 2014 at 5:11 PM
Michael, I agree, wow, that is really weird.
From Michael Nelson
Posted on May 7, 2014 at 6:06 PM
Thanks Paul. Maybe I should post this head-scratcher on the discussion board, as it seems to be lost here in this older blog.

From Laurie Niles
Posted on May 10, 2014 at 4:01 AM
That is pretty strange, as it doesn't look to be overdubbed or anything!
Posted on May 12, 2014 at 8:47 PM
Perhaps they mixed footage of rehearsal and concert - since some of the camera angles are harder to do in concert without distracting the audience and performer, dress rehearsals are sometimes filmed as well (I don't know if that was the case here)
That, or else the video is all from the concert but they patched in a note or two from the rehearsal during that place, to correct some little glitch - that kind of thing is done more often than not before a live broadcast is put online forever.

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