Concert review: Vilde Frang, Trevor Pinnock / Kammerorchester Basel @ Tonhalle Maag, Zurich, 2017-10-30 — Max Reger (1873 – 1916): Aria “O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde gross” for string orchestra, after J.S. Bach’s choral prelude, BWV 622; Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827): Violin Concerto in D major, op.61; Matthias Arter (*1964): Aquarell about J.S. Bach’s “Ricercar a 6”; Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809 – 1847): Symphony No.5 in D major/D minor, op.107, “Reformation”
With the entrance of the solo violin, though, the attention turned towards Sophia Jaffé, who presented herself as an experienced, expressive violinist, with a sonorous, full tone, delivering a solid, convincing interpretation.
… it was fascinating to observe how the violin remained audible, kept a clear presence even through minimal, light movements of the bow (…)
In the subsequent Larghetto, the soloist enchanted the audience with the most intimate, whispering tones, played almost sul ponticello, with minute, discreet movements of the bow, merely a hint, but always present, down to the softest ppp and below — one could almost sense the audience holding breath, totally captured by this playing.
Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D major, op.61 — comparing recordings with the following artists: Batiashvili (2007), Busch/Busch (1942), Faust/Abbado (2010), Francescatti/Walter (1961), Grumiaux/Galliera (1966), Heifetz/Munch (1955), Huberman/Szell (1934), Jansen/Järvi (2009), Kennedy (2007), Kopatchinskaja/Herreweghe (2009), Kreisler/Blech (1926), Kremer/Harnoncourt (1992), Menuhin/Furtwängler (1947), Milstein/Szell (1964), Mullova/Gardiner (2002), Oistrakh/Gauk (1952), Oistrakh/Cluytens (1959), Stern/Bernstein (1959), Szeryng/Schmidt-Isserstedt (1965), Suk/Konwitschny (1962), Tetzlaff/Zinman (2005), Zehetmair/Brüggen (1997)
… I listened to all the shallow music that was broadcasted on the radio around 1960 (our radio was an old “steam radio” built into a book shelf). I also distinctly remember that on Sundays the radio always played classical music — typically chamber music, such as music for wind instruments by Mozart — and I hated that music — not because I disliked it, but …