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The Week in Reviews, Op. 41: Tasmin Little and Isabelle Faust at the Proms

Robert Niles

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Published: July 29, 2014 at 6:20 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.

Tasmin Little performed the Moeran at the BBC Proms

  • The Independent: "Little’s playing had poise and purity of intonation, but it was curiously passionless, and she didn’t project her sound to fill the hall; up high, she was barely audible."
  • The Guardian: Tasmin Little shaped the solo part beguilingly, though, and brought a real warmth to the lingering fade of the finale, but a bit more backbone ought to have come from the orchestra, and that might have defined the outlines of each movement more precisely.
  • Listen to the concert, via the BBC! Part 1, Part 2

Isabelle Faust
Photo by Felix Broede, courtesy the artist

Isabelle Faust performed Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2 at the BBC Proms

Gabriel Prokofiev's Violin Concerto, performed by Daniel Hope, makes its world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall tonight (1:30 pm ET)

  • "Prokofiev says he wanted to convey a broad picture of what was happening in 1914 - a year he describes as 'the end of the old world, the old ways, the old hierarchies.'"
  • Daily Express: "'...I think I have finally found my own voice as a composer and I hope people can hear the Russianness in my music,' (Prokofiev) adds. 'My grandfather composed music that has a dialogue with the public and that’s what I want to achieve.'"
  • Listen live on BBC Radio 3, or follow the links for the rebroadcast... Part 1, Part 2

Gil Shaham performed the Britten with the National Youth Orchestra

  • The New York Times: "Mr. Shaham brought glowing sound, subtle shadings and effortless technique to his performance."
  • New York Classical Review: "The first thought that comes to mind seeing over 100 teenagers dressed in red pants, blue blazers and white shirts on the stage of Carnegie Hall Tuesday night, was: 'How can anyone think classical music is dead?' There’s never enough money — there never has been — but money is neither alive nor musical. These kids were there to play a concert of classical music, and a good number of them, if not all, will continue playing classical music through their lives."
  • The Boston Globe: "Shaham has the subtle technique to project the harrowing intricacies of this score, but his feeling for this music’s larger expressive arc, its grammar of burning tension and release, was less apparent, so the concerto even in his capable hands never really added up to more than the sum of its parts."

Joshua Bell performed the Bruch with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

  • Chicago Tribune: "...his account of Max Bruch's First Violin Concerto was unruffled and pleasingly worked out, with not a bit of rough tone or heightened tension. Few would call it distanced, but a difference was noticeable between Bell's lacquered perfection and Conlon's more shaded orchestral contribution."

Dmitry Sinkovsky performed works by Vivaldi with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra

  • The Age: "Sinkovsky is the real deal: a passionate and adventurous musician with a slightly overwhelming array of talents."

Did you attend a concert in the past week? If so, please tell us about it in the comments. Please support live music in your community by attending a concert or recital whenever you can!

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