The Week in Reviews, Op. 414: Leonidas Kavakos; Patricia Kopatchinskaja; Isabelle Faust
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 Leonidas Kavakos.
Leonidas Kavakos performed Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood.
- The Boston Musical Intelligencer: "What struck me most in last was the persistent and unrelenting sadness that Kavakos gave to the reading. He completely hid the virtuosity, likely not wanting virtuosity to be the focus. Rather, he called on us to hear the deep psychic pain that pervades the whole work, even when it expresses itself in the form of a frantic reaction."
Patricia Kopatchinskaja performed at the Gstaad Menuhin Festival.
- Classical Music: "When the conductor, Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla, fell ill at the eleventh hour. Kopatchinskaja took sole control, directing the first four movements of Beethoven’s ‘Pastoral’ Symphony...playing the theme of Schumann’s Geister-Variationen before soloing in the slow movement of Schumann’s woefully under-rated Violin Concerto. Finally, the Passacaglia from Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto, morphing into the cooly terrifying sounds of Nono’s Ricorda cosa ti hanno fatto in Auschwitz (1966, ‘Remember what they did to you in Auschwitz’)."
Isabelle Faust performed György Ligeti's Violin Concerto with Les Siècles at BBC Prom 47.
- Evening Standard: "Both the soloist, Isabelle Faust, and Les Siècles under François-Xavier Roth dispatched the quirky virtuosity of the concerto with aplomb."
Anthony Marwood and pianist Andrew Armstrong performed Beethoven's Violin Sonata No. 9 "Kreutzer" at the Portland Chamber Music Festival.
- Portland Press Herald: "The pair captured the spirit of the piece which fascinatingly see-saws between a passionate sense of urgency and brief respites displaying lovely bits of reflective lyricism. It became easy to understand Tolstoy’s employment of the work’s unsettling sense of being driven by barely controlled forces. Though the composer never lost control, the players for this performance were working near the edge."
Geneva Lewis performed Grace Williams' Violin Concerto with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at BBC Prom 32.
- Sequenza 21: "The work is in three movements and last about half an hour. It is filled with rhapsodic music which features very clear and compelling long lines. Its orchestration is clear and rich and varied, and the writing for the soloist is very effective. "
The Castalian Quartet performed at the Edinburgh International Festival.
- The Arts Desk: "The Castalians played (the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s "Awake") with sensitivity and gentility, allowing its surprising warmth and gentleness to breathe on its own terms. If anything, it was their playing of Janácek’s Kreutzer Sonata Quartet that carried more urgency and drama, particularly those agitated interruptions that the composer repeatedly uses to inject urgency and drama. "
Curtis Stewart performed as a part of the Ecstatic Music Series at the Kaufman Music Center in June.
- The Strad: "Violinist and composer Curtis Stewart presented a profound and deeply moving evening...sharing the stage with a number of musicians and dedicating the performance to the memory and legacy of his mother."
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