The Week in Reviews, Op. 66: Nikolaij Znaider, Isabelle Faust, Simone Lamsma in Concert
Written by Robert Niles
Published: January 20, 2015 at 9:56 PM [UTC]
In an effort to promote the coverage of live violin performance, Violinist.com each week presents links to reviews of notable concerts and recitals around the world.
Nikolaij Znaider performed the Sibelius with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which also gave the U.S. premiere of Henryk Górecki's Symphony No. 4.
- Violinist.com: "In Znaider's hands it was pure and beautiful, unhurried in its virtuosity, with dizzying runs going by in one sweep and the dramatic tension sustained throughout."
- New York Times: "Between the (Tansman and Górecki) came Sibelius’s Violin Concerto, Nikolaj Znaider’s impassioned, aristocratic mastery burning like a blue inferno, an ice field set alight."
- Los Angeles Times: "Danish violinist Nikolaj Znaider played with a polish that seemed barely human. He produces a sound thick and luscious as cream. He let each movement flow as though a single uninterrupted thought."
- Orange County Register: "This was a commanding interpretation, rich-toned and square-jawed, the phrases chiseled and boldly accented. A case could be made for Znaider to lighten up, but I wouldn’t make it because he put the music over in his own decisive way. Boreyko and the orchestra supported heartily. The musicians work well with him.”
Simone Lamsma performed works by Mendelssohn and Brahms, in concert at Northwestern University’s Winter Chamber Music Festival.
- Chicago Classical Review: "Here was a classic example of Mendelssohn creating a sonic universe from seemingly simple material, and the performance benefited from Lamsma’s intelligent highlighting of important harmonic junctures."
Marc Bouchkov performed the Sibelius with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
- Edmonton Journal: "(The orchestra's failings were) a pity, as the playing of soloist Marc Bouchkov, who won the Montréal International Music Competition in 2013, was very fine. He is wonderfully secure in the upper range, and his playing of the opening of the slow movement was gorgeous. I look forward to hearing him again."
Isabelle Faust performed the Mendelssohn with the Budapest Festival Orchestra.
- The New York Times: "Ms. Faust’s silky modesty often felt excessively reticent. She toned down not just the explosively intense passages, which seemed like a good way of curbing the self-indulgence into which this work can fall, but also the sweetness of the Andante, which passed unobtrusively."
Pavel Milyukov performed Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
- The Jerusalem Post: "Milyukov conveyed all these contrasting moods and events with utmost sensitivity, intensity, breathtaking virtuosic skill and force of expression."
Steven Copes performed the Mendelssohn with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
- Pioneer Press: "Copes showed off his ample digital dexterity on a fiery first-movement cadenza and brought out all of the Andante's soulful balladry. And the finale was suitably raucous, the choir of woodwinds matching Copes for puckish charm."
Itzhak Perlman performed Bach's Violin Concerto No. 2 and conducted Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”) with the Seattle Symphony.
- Seattle Times: "Perlman’s sure sense of the symphony’s architecture and its dramatic possibilities were even more interesting to hear than the solo violin that has made him a superstar. The attentive orchestra played brilliantly for him, with several distinguished woodwind solos."
Henning Kraggerud performed Shostakovich’s Second Violin Concerto with the Hallé Orchestra.
- The Telegraph: "The Hallé had an intrepid and insightful soloist in Norwegian Henning Kraggerud – more self-effacing than he needed to be, perhaps, but better that than using the music as a vehicle for an ego trip. He made the grimly determined culminatory cadenza as gripping and controlled as its shorter, more enigmatic counterparts earlier on."
Stefan Jackiw performed Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
- Press & Guide: "Jackiw has a gorgeous tone and dazzling technique."
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