The Week in Reviews, Op. 401: Philippe Quint; Rachell Ellen Wong; Robert Chen
May 23, 2023, 8:30 AM · 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.
Violinist Philippe Quint. Photo by John Gress.
Philippe Quint performed Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor with the Santa Barbara Symphony.
- Edhat Santa Barbara: "I personally thought Yehudi Menuhin was channeling through Philippe Quint during his amazing performance, and as my mother was a devotee of Menuhin and I grew up listening to records of his performances....I began to cry and felt my mother Rose was sitting in the seat next to me. It just does not get any better than that!"
- Performing Arts Review: "Quint’s intensely personal approach to the cadenza at the end of the first movement confirmed his appropriately meditative approach to the work as a whole; a sincere understanding of the many years of angst involved in the concerto’s creation."
- Santa Barbara Independent: "...Quint dove assuredly into the ultra-familiar strains of the opening theme and rose to the score’s challenges and varying heat level of pyrotechnics and romantic gymnastics. Pining spirits in the first and second movements give way to the calm, then brisk, buoyant spirits of its finale, in an emphatically major key."
Rachell Ellen Wong performed Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy with the American Classical Orchestra.
- New York Classical Review: "A smiling and relaxed presence onstage, Wong refreshingly treated Sarasate’s finger-tangler as a piece of music, a flight of fancy, not just a vehicle for a conservatory A or competition gold. Her warm yet clear tone and pinpoint intonation even in the highest positions matched contemporary descriptions of the Spanish violinist’s own playing."
Robert Chen performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
- Chicago Classical Review: "Chen’s elegant musicianship has always been eminently well suited to Mozart’s music and so it proved again. The soloist’s light, luminous tone and fluent grace recalled Mozart’s comment in a letter speaking of his own violin performance: 'It went like oil.'"
- WTTW News: "Chen, who makes the violin a seemingly effortless extension of his spirit, taps into the pure beauty and fire of the work’s solo segments with his characteristic ease, clarity and warmth."
Gil Shaham performed the Hindemith Violin Concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
- The Strad: "...the concerto is fiercely demanding for the soloist – not least in the finale’s cadenza – but Shaham, playing from the score, tackled even its most finger-twisting and vertiginous writing with flair and class. Energetic as his playing was, the sound was never forced, and the second movement especially drew playing of impassioned lyricism."
Christian Tetzlaff performed the Brahms Violin Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra.
- The Guardian: "...from his very first entry he was pushing forwards as if there was no time to lose, and this sense of urgency underpinned the colossal first movement until the final minutes, when the violin’s beatific recall of the opening melody gave the feeling that something momentous had been wrangled with and resolved."
Charlie Lovell-Jones performed Alexander Glazunov's Violin Concerto with the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra.
- On the Wight: "..the mastery that Mr Lovell-Jones brought to them made them seem almost easy."
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