27 July, 2008

The incredible RYU GOTO

26 July, 2008

The very young Ryu Goto, brother of Midori, is now one of the brightest violin stars on the horizon. I’d say he’s already a complete violinist.

The Japanese turned out in drones, and it was a full house at City Hall. whlee and I sat in the balcony. The orchestra is quite small. There has been quite a bit of personnel changes since I last heard them. I was surprised to see the excellent cellist Laurent Perrin now relegated to assistant principal. While I welcome the new oboist Louise Hayter I was saddened by the departure of the magnificent flutist Gillespie! Sound of the orchestra is tighter knit and certainly the winds has improved a lot as a whole, but the string section was a little bass deficient.
The Paganini #1 is a curious piece.

No two performances, including those on recordings, seem to have the same edition! Nothing, absolutely nothing could have deterred me from complete enjoyment of the playing of Ryu Goto. It was PERFECTION. I have heard no one else who sounds completely at ease with the Stradvarius, who plays evenly on all strings and not lose volume when pressed. His playing has everything. Perfect technique is a way way over-used term, but not if used on Goto! Here, technique also means making everything sound at ease, making every phrase tell, making the bass notes walk, making suspense. In other words, it was a mellifluously vocal performance. He played two heavenly long Paganini encores. The first one is the “Introduction and variations on ‘God save the King’” and the second one is “Nel cor piu mi sento”. It hardly matters what this young man plays, for you can just sit there all day and hear him, glued to the seat and hardly even blinking. No, I think I’d go watch him do anything!

The ensuing Brahms 1st was reasonably well played, but a non-sequitur nonetheless. The concert opened with Rossini’s La Gazza Ladra.

Haven’t been so excited since Hilary Hahn’s first Brahms violin concerto with the HKPO (not his second with EdW). Now can I hear Goto in the same piece?? No Tchaikovsky or Beethoven please.

1 comment:

  1. Ryu Goto playing Brahms violin concerto is available on DVD: