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The Week in Reviews, Op. 80: Anne-Sophie Mutter, Lisa Batiashvili, James Ehnes

Laurie Niles

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Published: April 28, 2015 at 10:18 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.

Anne-Sophie Mutter performed the Berg with the New World Symphony.

  • South Florida Classical Review: "A glamorous presence and deeply probing artist, Mutter did not disappoint. Eschewing the flashy romantic concerto repertoire, she gave outstanding performances of a twentieth century masterpiece and the American premiere of a score created for her by the late Swiss composer Norbert Moret."

Anne-Sophie Mutter
Anne-Sophie Mutter. Photo © Harald Hoffmann / DG

Lisa Batiashvili performed the Tchaikovsky with the Staatskapelle Berlin.

  • The Guardian: "Lisa Batiashvili was the ferocious soloist in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, intense in the first movement, luminous and heartfelt in the second, scintillating in the quickfire finale. It was a faultless performance, enthralling and electrifying."
  • The Telegraph: "Lisa Batiashvili, the soloist in Tchaikovksy’s concerto, may not have the huge personality of Argerich, but she had a similar impatient energy and a purity of tone, which burned away any hint of sentimentality."
  • The Independent: "She brought classical restraint to this high-Romantic music, with no indulgence in swoops or slides apart from the ones dictated by the score, and she delivered those – even when rapidly double-stopped – with flawless ease and precision; for the Canzonetta she found a chaste beauty of sound."

James Ehnes performed the Nielsen with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

  • Herald Scotland: "James Ehnes's multi-faceted performance of the Nielsen concerto caught the essence of the piece, in its wit, its flashing drama, its high-speed and abrupt changes of temperament, its tenderness and lyricism, and its almost bloody-minded individuality which insists on the mercurial music following its own star and no established template."

David Kim performed Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No. 3 with the Omaha Symphony.

  • Omaha World-Herald: "...he played with precise technical command and a passion that was at times anguished, others tender and altogether beautiful to behold. It is demanding to play, and Kim dominated with dynamic articulations and artful flourishes that were by turns soft and dynamic."

Josef Spacek performed the Mendelssohn with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

  • The Guardian: "He played Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with great sensitivity and admirable technical poise."

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

From Stephen Brivati
Posted on April 28, 2015 at 10:32 PM
either the guardian or the independent critic who reviewed that wonderful Batiashvili Tchaikovsky had too much to drink. or is politics affecting hearing these days?
From Laurie Niles
Posted on April 29, 2015 at 4:34 AM
Hard to believe it was in reaction to the same performance, isn't it? Once a critic in my home town of Denver wrote a review of a recital without actually attending the concert, describing in eloquent detail a piece that actually was not played, as the soloist had subbed in a different piece!
From Paul Deck
Posted on April 29, 2015 at 2:55 PM
You mean the part about her ferocious timidity and her indulgent reserve?

People only read reviews for the pans any more.

From Ramón G Castañeda
Posted on April 29, 2015 at 8:55 PM
A 'reviewer' who describes the performance of a piece that was not actually played fully richly deserves to be identified by name.
From Stephen Brivati
Posted on April 29, 2015 at 9:54 PM
I am well known for my ferocious timidity and indulgent reserve,
Posted on April 30, 2015 at 1:28 AM
Anne-Sophie--gorgeous sound. I want to hear her so much!
From Laurie Niles
Posted on April 30, 2015 at 5:07 AM
The incident with the critic was from a long time ago, and I don't remember who the critic was. I want to say he was fired, but I'm not sure! It's a bit of a cautionary tale for journalists!

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