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The Week in Reviews, Op. 43: Matthew Trusler and Joshua Bell at the BBC Proms

Robert Niles

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Published: August 12, 2014 at 10:10 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.

Matthew Trusler
Photo: Sheila Rock. Courtesy the artist

Matthew Trusler performed the Mathias at the BBC Proms

  • The Guardian: "Trusler brought an organic ebb and flow to Mathias's twisting melodies. His handling of the rondo and the work's big cadenzas was thrillingly dexterous."
  • The Arts Desk: "The work may not have a burning desire to communicate, but Matthew Trusler absolutely did. This was a dazzling Proms debut. The violin tone reaches right to the back of the hall where I was sitting; harmonics bite, phrasing lives, intonation never falters, the partnership with the orchestra was razor-sharp throughout. Next time, Walton, Britten or MacMillan, Mr Trusler, please."
  • Evening Standard: "William Mathias is perhaps better known for his church and organ music, which has a habit of reverting to a default mode of mechanistic note-spinning. There were passages of that in the Violin Concerto, which even the eloquent soloist Matthew Trusler was unable to disguise."
  • Listen to the concert: BBC Radio 3

Joshua Bell performed the Bruch at the BBC Proms

  • The Guardian: "Bell was entrusted with the first half, directing Beethoven's First Symphony from the leader's chair, before playing and directing Bruch's First Violin Concerto from the centre of the platform. The Beethoven was clean and exuberant, nicely subtle in its delineation of the symphony's amalgam of grandeur and wit. The Bruch, meanwhile, was lyrical, low key and elegant, the drama restrained rather than fiery, the tone warm and sweet throughout."
  • Listen to the concert: BBC Radio 3

Leonidas Kavakos performed Szymanowski’s Second Violin Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra

  • The Boston Globe: "Saturday’s fullest meal, however, came courtesy of Szymanowski’s Second Violin Concerto, a late work of imaginative color and deep-welled melody, poetically rendered here by soloist Leonidas Kavakos, who also made the most of this work’s blistering cadenza. The violinist further held the Shed spellbound with his hushed encore, Tarrega’s “Recuerdos de la Alhambra” in Ruggiero Ricci’s arrangement, performed here with a technique at once exacting and subtle."
  • The Berkshire Eagle: " Violinist Leonidas Kavakos, a deeply thoughtful musician, and conductor Stephane Deneve teamed in exploring the Polish composer's modernist raptures, which extend to a fiendish cadenza."

Christian Tetzlaff performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra

  • The New York Times: "Mr. Tetzlaff conveyed with burnished tone and polished vigor the youthful energy of the concerto, one of five for violin that Mozart composed while a teenager. Mr. Tetzlaff, a free-spirited soloist who played his own cadenza, performed the Adagio with soulful introspection. He and the orchestra offered an enjoyable rendition of Mozart’s Rondo in C (K. 373) as an encore."
  • New York Classical Review: "By the end, the good far outshone the bad, and the encore of Mozart’s Rondo in C Major, K. 373 was sweet."
  • ConcertoNet: "He was dazzling, yes, But he performed to show off his endless skills, not the work of Mozart."

Peter Otto performed the Haydn with the Cleveland Orchestra

  • The Plain Dealer: "Between his dazzling virtuoso cadenza and seductive Adagio redolent of a human voice, the violinist fully warranted the bravos he received."

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