Presented by Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
Reviewed 25 November 2016
Adelaide welcomes world-renowned violinist Pinchas Zukerman in his second performance with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Zukerman in Concert. Zukerman’s refined talents consistently amaze the audience as he performs as both soloist and conductor.
Commencing the concert is Romanian composer George Enescu’s Ballade for Violin and Orchestra, which Zukerman conducts while performing the lead violin. Enescu’s Ballade is sweet but all too brief, including a beautiful interlude between violin and flute. It is fascinating to watch Zukerman perform duel roles.
Beethoven’s Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano in C Major was a delightfully unusual piece at the time of its composition in 1804 – and remains so today. The solo instruments are reminiscent of a trio, and yet a full orchestra dutifully accompanies them. Zukerman performs violin, while his wife, Amanda Forsyth, performs cello, and Angela Cheng performs piano. Nicholas Carter acts as conductor for this piece, so that Zukerman can focus his entire energies on the violin.
The Concerto builds slowly as each section joins the melody, gaining volume and developing a patriotic march-like tempo. Then the melody is adapted by the striking cello, violin, and finally the piano. The trio works in harmony throughout the Concerto, adapting and reaching new heights together. Zukerman’s performance is pure unassuming, masterful talent. At times his right hand becomes a blur as he bows. While the spotlight is inevitably on him, Forsyth and Cheng both prove superb soloists in their own rights. The camaraderie between the trio is visible.
After interval, Zukerman returns as conductor for Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 in C Minor. Less structured and more emotive than Beethoven’s Concerto, it took Brahms fourteen years to compose. With a grandiose start, the orchestra then develops a lilting melody. Zukerman’s conducting style changes depending on the tone of the piece. During the quieter sections of the Symphony he barely moves at all, cuing the orchestra with a subtle nod or flick of the baton. However, as the melody builds and reaches its crescendo his direction becomes animated and passionate.
Zukerman in Concert is unique not only for the talent of the soloists, but also for the unusual and romantic program.
Reviewed by Nicola Woolford
Venue: Adelaide Town Hall
Season: 25 – 26 November 2016
Duration: 110 minutes
Tickets: $40.00 – $143.00