Mature and Persuasive Playing from Simone Lamsma

14/01/2014

 Tchaikovsky & Rachmaninov: Simone Lamsma (violin), Hallé/Nikolaj Znaider (conductor), Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Sunday 12th January 2014 (MC)

Tchaikovsky: Capriccio Italien
Violin Concerto
Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances

The last time I saw Nikolaj Znaider perform at the Bridgewater Hall he was the soloist in a stunning performance of Elgar’s Violin Concerto with the Hallé under the baton of Mark Elder. Now Nikolaj Znaider has become one of a long line of artists who have swapped the violin for the baton. Unlike some players who have switched roles he has not ceased performing as a violin soloist which would have been a terrible loss to the concert platform.

Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien the opening work of the evening is a fantasy for orchestra inspired by a carnival enjoyed by the composer during a holiday in Rome. Tchaikovsky may have been uplifted by the Roman carnival but overall I didn’t feel a similar exhilaration from the performance which all felt rather lacklustre, too static. Certain aspects that I did find stimulating and which have stuck in the consciousness were the opening brass fanfares and the delicious melody so brilliantly played by the pair of oboes.

In 2006 I recall reviewing Simone Lamsma’s debut CD of Elgar works for violin and piano on Naxos’s Laureate Series a recording which was her reward for winning first Prize in the 2004 Benjamin Britten International Violin Competition. This evening Lamsma on her Hallé debut was playing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concer, a warhorse of the repertoire that in recent years seems to have become rather less frequent a visitor to the concert hall. There was nothing routine about Lamsma’s mature and persuasive approach to the Concerto which drew the listener in, astutely providing significant drama marked by a broad range of tone and dynamic. Especially effective was Lamsma’s impassioned playing of the brooding central movement Canzonetta: Andante. At times it felt as if her ‘ex Braga’ Stradivarius was weeping such was the intensity of emotion casting a spell that not even an errant sneezer could break. Totally responsive to the needs of the soloist the empathetic Znaider ensured that his players never smothered the soloist’s tone with excess volume.

If the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto is maybe not as popular as it once was the opposite could be said about the increasingly performed Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances, a product of his American years. Maestro Znaider seemed very much at one with the demands of Rachmaninov’s multi-coloured score providing bite and plenty of forward momentum in the stunning opening dance Non Allegro. In remarkable form all evening the choir of woodwind sounded especially vibrant with the high strings and cellos combining to great effect. I’ve never heard the central dance movement played better with the description of a “haunted waltz” sounding decidedly apt. Once again the rich string sound and the splendidly played cor anglais and saxophone added to the sense of dark fantasy. His final orchestral work, Rachmaninov said of the Symphonic Dances It must have been my last spark” and the accomplished Hallé under Nikolaj Znaider brought it stunningly to life.

Michael Cookson

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments

Comments are closed.

Recent Reviews

MW

Facebook-button-1

Season Previews

__________________________________
  • NEW! Looking Ahead to the 2019 Lucerne Festivals __________________________________
  • NEW! Sándor Végh Memorial Concerts 2019 __________________________________
  • NEW! Bampton Classical Opera Perform Amahl and the Night Visitors in December __________________________________
  • NEW! The Royal Opera House’s Sundays for a Fiver Festival in November __________________________________
  • NEW! Opera Holland Park’s 2019 Season __________________________________
  • NEW! The Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre Reopens in December 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! The Met: Live in HD in 2018/19 __________________________________
  • NEW! The Royal Opera House’s Exciting 2018/19 Cinema Season __________________________________
  • NEW! See Pop-Up Opera’s La Tragédie de Carmen this Autumn __________________________________
  • UPDATED! Zurich Opera in 2018/2019 and Beyond __________________________________
  • NEW! Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
 in 2018/2019 __________________________________
  • NEW! Edinburgh Sunday International Concerts Series in 2018/19 __________________________________
  • NEW! Salzburg Whitsun Festival 7 – 10 June 2019 __________________________________
  • NEW! Bolshoi Ballet 2018/19 UK Cinema Season __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018-2019 Geneva Grand Theâtre Season __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 Hallé Season in Manchester __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich __________________________________
  • Subscribe to Review Summary Newsletter

    Reviews by Reviewer

    News and Featured Articles

    __________________________________
  • NEW! The OAE Shakes Up Concert Hall Conventions as Players and Conductors Talk from Stage __________________________________
  • NEW! SOPRANO ELENA MOȘUC IN CONVERSATION WITH CASEY CREEL __________________________________
  • NEW! THE PIANIST ANGELA HEWITT IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE __________________________________
  • R.I.P. Montserrat Caballé (1933 – 2018): A Personal Tribute by Jack Buckley __________________________________
  • NEW! The Future of Opera is Theatre: An Essay by Casey Creel __________________________________
  • NEW! Jacqui and David Morris’s New Documentary Film Nureyev Celebrates a Unique Man and Dancer __________________________________
  • NEW! MAESTRO RICCARDO FRIZZA IN CONVERSATION WITH MARGARIDA MOTA-BULL __________________________________
  • NEW! JACK BUCKLEY’S MEMORIES OF LINDSAY KEMP (1938-2018) __________________________________
  • NEW! THE GESUALDO SIX IN CONVERSATION WITH GEOFFREY NEWMAN __________________________________
  • NEW! A Q&A WITH GERMAN SOPRANO PETRA LANG __________________________________
  • NEW! TENOR NICHOLAS PHAN IN CONVERSATION WITH CHRISTOPHER SALLON __________________________________
  • NEW! THE PIANIST GEORGE HARLIONO IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE __________________________________
  • NEW! HOW TO CONTACT SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL __________________________________
  • NEW! THE CONDUCTOR ALEXANDER SLADKOVSKY IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE __________________________________
  • Search S&H

    Archives by Week

    Archives by Month