Last night I had the amazing opportunity to not only hear the amazing violinist Gil Shaham play, but also meet him after his performance! He played Bartoks second violin concerto wonderfully! His performance packed a huge amount of personality into the 30 minutes he was given, and here are some of my other thoughts on his performance.
When Gil Shaham walked on the stage, and he looked happy to be there, not at all nervous as I might have expected.He had great communication with Yannick, the conductor,which was fun to see. In the first movement, he used a number of different techniques that were all executed perfectly to share his idea of the concerto with audiences. At times he played so softly that he was barely heard, but the audience was quite in these special moments and he was heard throughout the hall. Other times, his playing was rough and heavy, but to audiences further away, the toughness went away and all that was heard the was the power and evenness of his eight notes. His cadenza was well planned and executed and was very techichally flashy, ending this movement with a real bang!
The second movement begins with a beautiful theme, and then goes into hysterics. Gil passionately showed all of the characteristics of this movement with perfect technique. This whole concerto was very clean and perfected so that his musical ideas could really shine through. Overall his performance was a success, but what intrigued me most was not his technical skills but his pure enjoyment of his time on the stage!