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The Week in Reviews, Op. 69: Lisa Batiashvili, Anne Akiko Meyers, Simone Lamsma in Concert

Robert Niles

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Published: February 10, 2015 at 8:50 PM [UTC]

In an effort to promote the coverage of live violin performance, each week presents links to reviews of notable concerts and recitals around the world.

Lisa Batiashvili performed the Barber with the New York Philharmonic.

  • The New York Times: "In the Andante, her gossamer, silky sound in the soloist’s opening measures evolved into a richer, deeper timbre, enhanced by liquid trills. Her poise and emotional involvement were matched by the orchestra, which played with the full-blooded sound essential to this piece, which Ms. Batiashvili (who is Georgian) is performing for the first time in America."
  • New York Classical Review: "Much of the first movement is pure lyricism, and Batiashvili, a master of her instrument’s colors, is capable of producing silken tone with anyone. But there is room, too, in this concerto for the intensity that is the hallmark of Batiashvili’s style."

Lisa Batiashvili

Anne Akiko Meyers, filling in for Augustin Dumay, who was ill, performed the Mendelssohn with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

  • The New York Times: "There is an old-world glamour to Ms. Akiko Meyers’s playing, with her high-gloss, singing sound and her liberal use of sighing slides from one note to another. Although this style suits Mendelssohn’s romantic concerto there is a danger of gilding the lily and reducing the music to salon entertainment. In the fast passagework, Ms. Akiko Meyers was sometimes at odds with the orchestra, but in the most hazardous tempo changes and transitions their interaction was impressively relaxed."

Simone Lamsma performed the Korngold with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

  • Cincinnati Enquirer: "Violinist Lamsma, 28, delivered an inspired performance of this concerto. Her style seemed ideal for this piece. She played its long, romantic themes with an easy virtuosity and a sweet tone, even when called upon to play in the highest stratosphere."

Stefan Jackiw performed works by Ravel, Lutoslawski and Franck, in recital with pianist Anna Polonsky, filling in for Isabelle Faust and pianist Alexander Melnikov.

  • Chicago Classical Review: "The (Franck Sonata's) opening movement’s limpid, swaying lines were performed with fitting nineteenth-century grace, and its final sweeping gesture and resolution were particularly affecting. Polonsky’s accompaniment in the agitato second movement was rumbling, and the pair captured the movement’s shifting moods—aggressive, nervous, rapturous—with ease."

David Coucheron performed Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

  • Arts ATL: "Coucheron’s technical skill has always been there, but his playing seems to be evolving in terms of a wider, bolder and more expressive range without losing capacity for that signature sweetness when it needs to come to the fore."

Vilde Frang performed the Bruch with the National Symphony Orchestra.

  • Washington Post: "Appearing as if out of a painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, with a cloud of red-brown hair, she tucked into the Bruch concerto with an inward focus that drew the listener toward her, pulled into the vortex of compelling sound rather than trying to impress with a huge flourish. Her phrasing was exquisite, except when it was overwhelmed by the orchestra."

Christian Tetzlaff performed the Beethoven with the Seattle Symphony.

  • Seattle Times: "This is the Beethoven as you’ve never heard it before: brilliant, heart-stopping Beethoven, complete with unique cadenzas and an interpretation that ranges from exquisitely reverent to rampagingly boisterous."

Augustin Hadelich performed the Tchaikovsky with the Minnesota Orchestra.

  • The Pioneer Press: "...he wowed the crowd at Minneapolis' Orchestra Hall to such a degree that he received a lengthy partial standing ovation ... after the first movement. Once the piece was completed, virtually every patron was standing, demanding an encore that Hadelich deftly delivered."

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

From Sung-Duk Song
Posted on February 11, 2015 at 7:30 PM
Both Augustin Dumay and Anne-Akiko Meyers are outstanding artists. Sad that Dumay cancelled, but awesome that they got a replacement of Anne's caliber.

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