For quite some time I have known this violinist called Antal Zalai and It has always been impressive for me to hear his playing and how close to perfection it is. It is certainly a bit on the softer side which does not make sense to all the repertoire especially when playing a piece like the Ysaye/ Saint-Saens valse, however for composers like Bach, Paganini,(most of)Wieniawski it makes perfect sense to be played more elegantly .One could characterise his playing as too reserved and I would guess that the fact he is quite unknown owes to that yet I still feel like he is way too underrated. I would like to hear what your thoughts on him are.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
I queued up his IRC (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgxM7vDBGbQ)
Gabriel really good that you bring him up, I also adore him, a really natural player, "grounded", don't know how to describe it. The kind of player I would like to be. It is indeed remarkable that he plays close to the fingerboard most of the time. He has a very fast bow speed, however. A very personal, authentic style.
I like his Moses video.
I love Antal Zalai’s playing. I find it refreshing as opposed to some of the other more mainstream soloists in that it’s more tame and refined. It makes a lot of sense on pieces like the Moses, caprice Basque, and the like. Paul is right though. He does play quite close to the fingerboard so he doesn’t get as big of a sound as other soloists do, which would be needed for the bigger concerti like Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, and others. But it’s more than enough for the things he usually plays on his channel. It’s works wonders on his recording of the Ravel Tzigane.
Antal Zalai is arguably the world's most underrated violinist. His cushioned, honest, unaffected approach reminds me at times of David Oistrakh or Arthur Grumiaux. His performances of unaccompanied Bach are my benchmark and inspiration. I don't understand why he isn't as famous as he ought to be. Then again, there were great violinists like Aaron Rosand, Oscar Shumsky, Steven Staryk, and David Nadien who weren't household names either. I hope Mr. Zalai will be rewarded with the recognition and success that he so richly deserves. Thank you, Gabriel, for bringing Mr. Zalai to everyone's attention here!
So calm, so relaxed, so beautiful.
Beautiful, thanks for posting about him.
Antal Zalai was a child prodigy from a long line of professional musicians. He is a world-class soloist of extraordinary talent. He is very popular in his homeland of Hungary and throughout Europe. I don't know that he has toured much in America or speaks English, which may explain why he's not more well known in the US? I do enjoy his playing very much!
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