Fiddle News

June 6, 2007

Quick Hit – Eileen Ivers

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 8:45 pm

eileen iversAmerican born Irish fiddler Eileen Ivers was in Columbus Ohio last month, and Gary Budzak of the Columbus Dispatch sat down with her for this quick interview. Ivers briefly talks about her background and her music. The article also includes a couple of audio samples of Ivers’ fiddling. The Dispatch’s Barbara Zuck reviewed the concert and wrote that “Ivers has perfected a kind of musical multitasking that only a few are interested in attempting and even fewer can master.”

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June 5, 2007

Anne Akiko Meyers Still Ascending

Filed under: Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 9:06 pm

anne akiko meyersAnne Akiko Meyers was in Tampa, Florida to perform Vaughn Williams’ “The Lark Ascending” with Stefan Sanderling and the Florida Orchestra. John Fleming of the St. Petersburg Times reviewed the concert and called Meyers “the most elegant violin soloist of her generation.” In his review he said “the lark has a beautiful sound, but it can’t approximate what she (Meyers) does with a Stradivarius.”  (Submitted by A.A. Townsend)

Julia Fischer on Tour and on CD

Filed under: Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 8:48 pm

Julia FischerAfter touring the continent with the New York Philharmonic, Julia Fischer arrived in England to play the Beethoven Violin Concerto with David Zinman and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Reviewing the concert for the Times, Geoff Brown commented that “this would have been remarkable playing to achieve at any age.” Barry Millington of the Evening Standard, however, wrote in his review that he thought Fischer’s performance ultimately lacked humanity, and only provided evidence “of a more complete artist still to be revealed.”

Fischer has also been busy releasing CD’s, and David Patrick Stearns of the Philadelphia Inquirer reviews both the Tchaikovsky and Brahms releases. Her Tchaikovsky he calls “notable for its feats of subtlety”, while the Brahms “borders on being a signature piece for Fischer.” Geoff Brown reviewing the Brahms CD for the Times, notes that Fischer has “long soared beyond being labelled ‘promising'”, and she eases herself into the principal theme of the first movement “with the sweetest of sighs.”

Fabio Biondi/Europa Galante Revive Rare Sinfonia

Filed under: Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 8:24 pm

fabio biondiJulia Amacher of Minnesota Public Radio reviews Fabio Biondi’s recording of rare works by Vivaldi, Carlo Monza and Giuseppe Demachi. You’ll find the transcript here, but be sure to listen to the audio clip to hear excerpts from the new CD. What was Amacher’s reaction? She thinks it was worth waiting a few hundred years to hear.

Itzhak Perlman in Albany

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 8:12 pm

itzhak perlmanItzhak Perlman recently spoke with Joseph Dalton of the Albany Times Union. In this interview, he discusses playing for the Queen, keeping Beethoven fresh, and his approach to teaching and conducting. Joseph Dalton also reviewed Perlman’s concert with the Albany Symphony Orchestra under David Allen Miller, calling the performance fluid and natural, but somewhat lacking in spontaneity and nuance.

May 22, 2007

Jennifer Koh Finds Something New

Filed under: Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 8:37 pm

jennifer kohJennifer Koh played the Sibelius violin concerto in Annapolis in May with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra. David Lindauer reviewing for The Capitol was pleasantly surprised by the unusual approach Koh took to this warhorse of the violin repertoire, and thought she brought remarkable insights to a piece he thought he thoroughly knew. In his review for the Baltimore Sun, Phil Greenfield thought that this was a performance that “imparted something special.”

Joshua Bell Finishes Up with the SPCO

Filed under: Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 8:25 pm

joshua bellBefore he joins the faculty of Indiana University, Joshua Bell wrapped up his stint as Artistic Partner of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. In his final concert of the season with the SPCO, Bell led a program of Mozart, Saint Saens, Tchaikovsky, and Chausson. Michael Anthony of the Star Tribune reviewed the concert and thought Bell played with his “customarily warm, immaculately focused tone.” In his review for the Pioneer Press, Ron Hubbard called Bell “a charismatic performer who can make a trip to the concert hall a deeply rewarding experience.”

Leila Josefowicz Visits D.C.

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 8:11 pm

leila josefowiczLot’s of Leila Josefowicz news going around. First, an interview with Joel D. Amos of the North County Times in which she talks about Beethoven, new music, and what she learned growing up. Next, a review by Tim Smith of the Baltimore Sun of her performance of John Adam’s The Dharma at Big Sur. He says Josefowicz played with “exceptional technical aplomb and nuance.” Another review of the same program by Tim Page of the Washington Post said Josefowicz “wailed and moaned with meticulously controlled abandon.” Finally, this post by Charles T. Downey over at Ionarts. He called her concert at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington a wonderful Mother’s Day gift.

Ruth Palmer Returns to Wigmore

Filed under: Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 7:29 pm

Ruth palmerFresh off her Young Artist of the Year award, up-and-coming violinist Ruth Palmer traveled back to Wigmore Hall to play a recital of Beethoven, Janacek and Bartok. Anna Picard of The Independent was there, and in her review she thought Palmer started off a little tired and slow, but soon found her footing and took off.

Viviane Hagner Plays Brahms

Filed under: Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 7:21 pm

viviane hagnerViviane Hagner has been playing the Brahms violin concerto. Last April she played with the Florida Symphony in Tampa Florida. Kurt Loft of the Tampa Tribune wrote this review, and reports that Hagner stole the night with her playing of the cadenza. In May she played the Brahms violin concerto in Ottawa, Canada, and Richard Todd of the Ottawa Citizen wrote that Hagner’s playing was “sheer beauty.”

May 1, 2007

Phillippe Quint Plays Bernstein

Filed under: Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 6:44 pm

phillippe quintRussian violinist Phillippe Quint played the Bernstein Serenade with the Alabama Symphony under Christopher Confessore. Quint dedicated the performance to the late Mstislav Rostropovich, and Michael Huebner reviewed the performance for the Birmingham News, saying Quint gave a sparkling performance.

April 26, 2007

Leonidas Kavakos in California

Filed under: Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 7:55 pm

Leonidas KavakosLeonidas Kavakos performed the Brahms Violin Concerto in San Diego with Cincinatti Symphony under Paavo Jarvi. In his review for SanDiego.com, Kenneth Herman found “little compelling about this performance”, describing Kavakos as “too calculating and buttoned down.” In her review, Valerie Scher of the Union-Tribune described Kavakos as virtuosic, but without projecting much passion. Kavakos got a more favorable review up north from Timothy Mangan of the Orange County Register, describing his performance of the Brahms as “unusually penetrating.”

Midori Extends Her Reach

Filed under: Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 7:36 pm

midoriMidori has selected Elgin, Illinois for a weeklong residency as part of her  Orchestra Residencies Program. She’ll be working with both the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra. Rob Phillips has more details in this article published in the Daily Herald.

Midori and pianist Robert MacDonald also gave a recital at Avery Fisher Hall in New York. On the program were works by Beethoven, Rautavaara, Hindemith and Richard Strauss. Steve Smith wrote the review for the New York Times (registration required).

April 24, 2007

Julia Fischer Can’t Please Everyone

Filed under: Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 8:05 pm

julia fischerFred Kirshnit of the New York Sun certainly had his ax sharpened and ready for this hatchet job on Julia Fischer’s performance of the Brahm’s Violin Concerto with Lorin Maazel and the New York Philharmonic. Kirshnit called Fischer’s performance “excruciatingly dull”, and thought the night would have been better served if the concertmaster had played the concerto rather than Julia Fischer.

Meanwhile, Vivien Schweitzer of the New York Times (registration required) seemed to be having a much better time. In her review she called Fischer’s playing “burnished” and “richly sweet”. Mhaithaca was also in the audience and posted his thoughts on his blog, saying Fischer gave a “spectacular” performance.

April 23, 2007

Maxim Vengerov in Toronto

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 6:58 pm

maxim vengerov In this interview with John Keillor posted at canada.com, Maxim Vengerov talks about Shostakovich, Mozart and playing and conducting with the UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra. “I’ve been gradually maturing toward Mozart”, he says. “It took a long time to really grasp his music.”

Reviewing the concert for the Toronto Star, John Terauds said that “this particular assignment shows Vengerov’s humbler side.”

April 16, 2007

Quick Hits – Christian Tetzlaff and Nicola Benedetti

Filed under: Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 7:21 pm

christian tetzlaffAnnette Morreau reviews Christian Tetzlaff and pianist Alexander Lonquich performing a cycle of the Beethoven violin sonatas. She describes Tetzlaff’s playing as “exuberant” and Lonquich as “radiant”. Over on this side of the pond, Elaine Schmidt of the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal reviews Nicola Benedetti playing a recital of Bach, Beethoven, Debussy and Ravel with pianist Julien Quentin. Schmidt raves “Benedetti gave a performance that meshed technical brilliance, musical depth, and a gorgeous, ringing sound.”

April 15, 2007

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg Plays Brahms

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 4:22 pm

nadja salerno-sonnenbergThe Brahms violin sonatas, her record label, and other upcoming projects are some of the topics that Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg discusses in this interview with Rosemary Ponnekanti of the News-Tribune. At age 46, she also talks about how she looks differently at music now as opposed to when she was just starting out. In this review posted at the SlipperyKeys blog, the author is delighted by Salerno-Sonnenberg’s playfulness while performing the Tchaikovsky violin concerto.

April 11, 2007

Daniel Hope Coast to Coast

Filed under: Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 6:43 pm

daniel hopeDaniel Hope was very busy at this year’s Savannah Music Festival. John Stoehr goes over some of the highlights in this blog post for art.rox.com. Hope then left Savannah and joined his friends with the Beaux Arts Trio for recitals in Philadelphia and San Jose. On the program in Philadelphia were Turnage, Shostakovich, and Schubert. David Patrick Stearns, writing for the Philadelphia Inquirer, wrote that “no single concert I’ve heard from the Beaux Arts offered so much, and on so many different levels.” In his review, he described Hope as intensely restrained. Reviewing a Shostakovich and Beethoven Beaux Arts recital in San Jose, Richard Scheinin of the San Jose Mercury News characterized the Beaux Art’s Shostakovich performance as “life-changing” and Daniel Hope as an “exceptional player.”

April 10, 2007

Nicola Benedetti at the Gardner Museum

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 6:59 pm

Nicola BenedettiNicola Benedetti leads all other nominees at this years Classical Brits Awards, with nominations for Instrumentalist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Young British Classical Performer. But is the young Scottish violinist for real, or is she just the latest  in a series of over-hyped classical music sensations. David Weininger of the Boston Globe talked to Benedetti recently, and in this interview he found her to be a “serious, down-to-earth musician”.

Reviewing her Boston recital, The Globe’s Jeremy Eichler found her performance did not quite live up to the fanfare, perhaps because of nerves or perhaps because she just needs more time to grow and mature.

April 9, 2007

Sarah Chang At Work and Play

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 7:30 pm

sarah changWhat does Sarah Chang do when she’s not making music? Find out in this interview with Laura Stewart of the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Speaking of Chang, she was in the Bay Area recently for a pair of recitals. On the program were the Beethoven, Danielpour and Prokofiev pieces she’s been touring with lately. In his review, Richard Scheinin thought she played a memorable, if not perfect Kreutzer. Scheinin was even more impressed with the “clear-eyed lyricism” which she gave to the Danielpour, and the “clarity and shape…rhythmic keenness” and “burnished perfection” with which she played the Prokofiev Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2. Columbine C. Greyscott (is that her real name?) saw the Berkeley recital and made this post. She found the Beethoven a little boring, but really liked the 2nd half of the show.

April 4, 2007

Three Reviews in Brief

Filed under: Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 6:51 pm

viviane hagnerHarriet Cunningham of the Sydney Morning Herald reviews german violinist Viviane Hagner performing Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto, calling it “intellectually and emotionally satisfying.” David Fanning of the Telegraph reviews Henning Kraggerud playing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto and finds him “superbly assured, yet without the need for the overkill.” Finally, another rave review for Joshua Bell’s performance of Vivaldi and Tchaikovsky with the Academy of Saint Martins in the Fields. This one is from Steve Smith of the New York Times (free registration required) who described Bell as “polished and assured.”

April 1, 2007

Leila Josefowicz and John Adams

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 7:21 pm

Leila JosefowiczComposer John Adams talks to Mark Stryker in this interview published by the Detroit Free Press. Among other things, he takes special note of violinist Leila Josefowicz who performed Adams’ Violin Concerto (1993). How does Adams feel about the Josefowicz? He rates her very highly, and praises her “Olympian majesty of expression.” Says Adams, “she’s an incredibly serious and painstaking performer.”

The critics seem to agree. Lawrence B. Johnson reviewed the performance for the Detroit News and said Josefowicz gave the concerto “a glittering turn”.  In his review for the Detroit Free Press, Mark Stryker called Josefowicz “a force of nature”. Finally Mark Freier, writing in his blog, wrote that watching Josefowicz “you could see and feel raw talent and sheer passion”.

Joshua Bell Directs The Academy

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 6:59 pm

joshua bellIn this interview with Cathalena E. Burch of the Arizona Daily Star, Joshua Bell talks about life on the road and how he feels about being guest director with the Academy of Saint Martins in the Fields. Says Bell, “it’s probably the most fun thing I do all year.” Reviewing Bell’s performance of Vivaldi and Tchaikovsky at the Tilles Center in Long Island, Justin Davidson of Newsday writes that the his performance was “elegant, assured, and impeccable”, while James Hennerty of the Time Union reviewed his Troy, NY performance and called the Vivaldi “solid”, but it was the Tchaikovsky that was truly “delightful”.

Hilary Hahn Makes Her Chicago Debut

Filed under: Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 6:45 pm

hilary hahnMaking her Chicago Symphony debut, Hilary Hahn played the Goldmark violin concerto and charmed critic John von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune with her angelic Botticellian beauty. In his review he wrote that “there doesn’t seem to be anything that she cannot play beautifully. Andrew Patner reviewing the concert for the Chicago Sun-Times called Hahn as “lyrical as she is virtuosic.”

Over at the “Truth Makes Me Fret” blog, though, it doesn’t seem everyone was as won over as the critics. In this review the blogger says the Goldmark concerto left him “bored stiff”, and only Hahn’s sneeze during the third movement cadenza kept him from dozing off. Ouch!

Henning Kraggerud in Manchester

Filed under: Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 6:25 pm

henning kraggerudNorwegian Henning Kraggerud played the Tchaikovsky violin concerto at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, and Robert Beale of the Manchester Evening News wrote that despite a few sticky moments in the first movement, Kraggerud earned his applause by powering his way to the end. In his blog post, however, Atticus had no reservations about the performance, calling it “exciting, brilliant, sensitive” and “heartfelt”.

Julia Fischer Leaves ‘Em Breathless

Filed under: Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 5:58 pm

Julia FischerJulia Fischer brought the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto to Minnesota, and David Hawley of the Pioneer Press wrote that it was a guaranteed crowd pleaser, played with a “lovely, singing lyricism” and a “great deal of heart.” Larry Fuchsberg of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (free membership pass required) gave her an even more enthusiastic review, praising her “poetic, unworldly aura”. Kurt Klussendorf saw the performance and in his review he said it was like watching “Valentino Rossi on the MotoGP circuit” (Fiddlenews is guessing that’s a good thing), while, Spartacus reviewing the performance for the Ken in the City Blog was not won over, saying Fischer’s performance was marred by constant “slowing down and speeding back up of the tempos.”

Speaking of blogs, here’s a post from Racine of the “Still trying to figure it out” blog. She saw Fischer play the Khatchaturian concerto in Washington DC and noticed at one point that she wasn’t breathing. Hope she’s ok, and if so she might want to check out this blog post from violinist.com. It’s an excerpt from Fischer’s newly released Brahm’s CD.

Gidon Kremer at Wigmore

Filed under: Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 4:24 pm

gidon kremerViolinist Gidon Kremer teamed up with pianist Oleg Maisenberg for a recital at Wigmore Hall. Hilary Finch reviewed the program of Schubert, Bartok, and Kurtag for the London Times, and wrote that in the Schubert, Kremer makes us “wonder at the beauty of a simple chromatic scale”, while in the Bartok Kremer proved that “red blood still coursed freely” in his veins. Reviewing the recital for the Guardian, Andrew Clements wrote that all the works were “treated with affection and consummate musicality” with “never anything self-regarding or attention-seeking about his playing.”

Kremer might love the reviews, but would he love this blog posting? It comes from Dremion.com, a site dedicated to dream, insomnia and nightmare products. Are they touting Kremer’s Insomnia CD as a cure for sleeplessness?

Shaham’s Chamber Group Goes Flat

Filed under: Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 4:06 pm

gil shahamAn evening of Brahms chamber music from violin legend Gil Shaham and friends got less than enthusiastic reviews. Newsday’s Justin Davidson reviewing the performance given by Shaham, violinist Cho-Liang Lin, violist Cynthia Phelps, cellist Lynn Harrell, and pianist Akira Eguchi (filling in as a last minute replacement for Yefim Bronfman) said the musicians “never really melded”. A less forgiving review by the New York Sun’s Fred Kirshnit called the whole affair “simply awful”.

According to Donald Rosenberg of the Cleaveland Plain Dealer, though, Shaham fared much better performing the Beethoven violin concerto in Cleveland. In his review he felt that Shaham achieved “the kind of suspended time few artists realize.”

Benedetti Delights in Des Moines

Filed under: Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 3:46 pm

Nicola BenedettiNicola Benedetti wants to get by on more than just her looks. In this article published in the Kettering-Oakwood Times we learn a little about the rising Scottish violinist, her playing and her expectations. Michael Morain of the Des Moines Register reviewed her recent Iowa performance of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor and found that Benedetti played with “genuine passion”.

Ilya Gringolts Down Under

Filed under: Interview,Music,Review — tmyers2002 @ 3:26 pm

ilya gringoltsRussian violinist Ilya Gringolts talks to William Dart about playing underplayed works, revisiting previously performed works, and making mistakes in this interview published in the New Zealand Herald. In an earlier concert in Perth Australia, Mark Coughlan of The Australian reviews Grigolts’ performance of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto and finds it “disappointingly bland”.

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