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The Week in Reviews, Op. 48: Janine Jansen and the Last Night at the Proms

Robert Niles

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Published: September 16, 2014 at 11:59 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.

Janine Jansen
Photo: Decca/Sara Wilson

Janine Jansen performed the Poème by Chausson at the Last Night at the Proms

  • The Arts Desk: "She drew the huge audience right in to her playing. She made the cavernous Royal Albert Hall feel like an intimate space. She tamed the crowd and (almost, briefly) silenced the bronchially challenged."
  • "Here, Janine Jansen was an impassioned, sensitive soloist, her sorrowful intensity matched by the elegiac strings and thoughtfully-phrased woodwind of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. She returned later for a zingy rendition of Ravel’s gypsy-inspired Tzigane, and a giggle-inducing duet version of La Cucaracha with (conductor) Oramo, himself a violinist."
  • The Telegraph: "...Chausson’s Poème (was) played with lovely tender inwardness by star guest violinist Janine Jansen."
  • The Standard: "Jansen caught the melancholic ecstasy of Chausson’s Poème, returning later for an exquisite and exuberant account of Ravel’s Tzigane."
  • The Guardian: "The tone turned elegiac with Chausson’s nostalgic Poème - exquisitely played by Janine Jansen..."
  • The New York Times: "Chausson (the concerto-like “Poème” for violin-and-orchestra) (was) played with melancholic eloquence by the soloist Janine Jansens. [sic]"

Nicola Benedetti performed the Beethoven with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

  • The Sydney Morning Herald: "The recent darling of the British pop charts, Benedetti gave an eloquent and at times thrilling account of Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D, Op 61."

Itzhak Perlman performed the Bruch with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra

  • D Magazine: "Perlman performed with his familiar warm, satisfying tone and charmingly engaging presence."
  • Dallas Morning News: "Superstar violinist Itzhak Perlman doubtless drew many people to the concert, and his big, gleaming tone was evident from his first notes in the Bruch G-minor Violin Concerto. At age 69, he occasionally plays a note not quite in tune, and lyric passages could have used more legato, a more vocal feeling for line. A slower, less intense vibrato would have softened the effect now and then.
    He dispatched some of the more virtuosic passages with still-impressive aplomb, though, and the audience leapt to its feet at the thrill of hearing a legend."

Anne-Sophie Mutter performed the Bruch with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

  • Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "She offered a distinctive interpretation of Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor. She shaped her first two solos with appealing freshness and thoughtfulness."

Augustin Hadelich performed the Shostakovich Violin Sonata with Boston's A Far Cry

  • Boston Globe: " Augustin Hadelich gave a magnificent account of the solo part, showing complete command over dynamics, phrasing, and tone color. He handled the treacherous runs in the scherzo with ease, and there was a terrific sense of give and take with the orchestra."

Gidon Kremer performed Gubaidulina’s “In tempus praesens” with the Dresden State Opera

  • Los Angeles Times: "The score is a spiritual response to Bach, and the performance was gripping, not only for Kremer’s transcendent concentration but also for Thielemann’s careful attention to sonic detail."

Please support live music in your community by attending a concert or recital whenever you can!

From David Burgess
Posted on September 17, 2014 at 1:06 AM
Decca/Sara Wilson ain't bad to look at.
Still, I hold some hope that a musical performance will amount to more than that.
From Paul Deck
Posted on September 17, 2014 at 3:23 AM
David, from what we read here, it did. It's not a drime to be beautiful, or to play the violin beautifully.
From John Cadd
Posted on September 20, 2014 at 5:13 PM
Sarah Wilson is the photographer . I always fall into that trap too . What`s a drime ?
I looked that up . Good new word. But. Janine in the photo was at the Last Night of the Proms.Included in that concert was a "performance " of Supercalifragilisticexpialidoscious. I know it was the last night but for heaven`s sake . How low can you go ? So --for that--Drime.

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