29 June, 2017

Concert Review: HKPO-Jaap-Renaud Capucon

June 17, 2017, CCCH
HKPO-Jaap-Renaud Capucon

Renaud Capucon is a reliable violinist with secure intonation and good tone, but passion is not his strongest suit. It showed in the Berg Violin Concerto, which needs more fire and angst, something that can also be said of the accompaniment.

Schubert's 9th fared better, to an extent. The orchestra played well for Jaap, who as usual focused on drama, often idiosyncratically. However, as usual too, theatricality came at the expense of depth. There was no sense of Schubertian flow, languor, not to mention intimations of undercurrents. In many ways I preferred the recent performance of the same piece under Christoph Poppen (roll down below),
Concert Review: Jean-Guihen Queryas Solo Recital

June 8, 2017, CH
Jean-Guihen Queryas Solo Recital
Bach-Ivan Fedele-Jonathan Harvey-Gyorgy Kurtag

The library has many of Queryas' CD's (Harmonia Mundi), and I find them of unfailingly high standard and frequently inspiring, so it is satisfying to find that here is one artist who delivers the same high standards in the concert hall (not at all a given).

It is fashion now in recordings to pair Bach's (solo) music with shorter modern works. In this case, the concert is Part I of Queryas' Bach Project, which precedes each of the Solo Suites with a commissioned "Pre-Echo". Here, the first 3 suites were preceded by works by Ivan Fedele, Jonathan Harvey and Kurtag. Only the Kurtag was not commissioned, a short suite comprised of three short works. Of the three works, I found Harvey's the weakest, and Fedele's the most appropriate appetizer.

The Suites themselves were played with elan. Not particularly period influenced, nor indulgently romantic. Queryas played crisply, with nuance and good flow, and gave each movement good character and color, no easy task.

I enjoyed it greatly.