RECORDINGS OF THE YEAR
which he is drawing considerable acclaim. Among the orchestras he has worked with in this capacity are the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Passionately interested in violins and bows, Kavakos plays the 1724 ‘Abergavenny’ Stradivarius violin, as well as a number of instruments by contemporary luthiers.
KAVAKOS ON BRAHMS
IT H E I N T E R V I E W
n the Brahms Violin Concerto, as in the piano concertos, you have this huge charge of energy that is presented by the orchestra – and then once you are in the piece, of course there are moments that are more relaxing, but there is this very clear balance between very strong and emotional and powerful elements, and others which are more relaxed and even very delicate.
I feel that the marvel in the second movement is that he presents everything there is to be said already in the woodwind and brass sections at the beginning, but from the moment where the violin goes in we see the movement’s elements fragmented, and each one of them becoming its own work. This is actually quite amazing, because if one looks at the score, there are so many elements even of two notes which are somehow worked in such a way that they create a moment, they create an atmosphere, they create an emotional situation – and that goes throughout the movement. And in perfect harmony are the dialogues between the orchestra and the violin. In Beethoven’s Concerto you have this kind of commenting on each other but here’s it’s not commenting, it’s dialogue. Orchestra, violin, orchestra, violin – even if the orchestra is accompanying while the violin is playing, it’s clear what their roles are.
In the Violin Concerto I am – and I am sure everyone would agree with this – thankful that Joseph Joachim was interfering with the composition and that he suggested what he suggested. If one looks at the manuscript that has some of the original ideas by Brahms, we can say that the way it is written, even the way we know it today, is badly crafted for the violin. I’m sorry to say, it couldn’t be worse! Joachim actually more than assisted: for instance, there is the coda in the first movement, which was very different – musically, not violinistically – and Joachim suggested the way we have it today. And it’s amazing that Brahms would actually listen and take seriously his suggestions, not only the instrumental suggestions but also the musical ones.
I am also thankful for the cadenza, which I have chosen to play all my life, simply because in such a collaboration, and when I know that Brahms respected Joachim as a composer and they worked so closely together, I think nobody could have known the piece, its spirit and atmosphere better than Joachim. I think that his cadenza really complements the piece – it doesn’t disturb the arch, which is I think the most important thing for a cadenza.
R ECOMMENDED R ECORD I N G S
Sibelius Violin Concerto (two versions) Leonidas Kavakos vn Lahti SO / Osmo Vänskä BIS F BIS-CD500 (4/91) Brahms Violin Concerto Leonidas Kavakos vn Gewandhaus Orchestra / Riccardo Chailly Decca S 478 8342 (12/13) Beethoven Violin Sonatas Leonidas Kavakos vn Enrico Pace pf Decca M c 478 3523DH3 (3/13) Brahms Violin Sonatas Leonidas Kavakos vn Yuja Wang pf Decca F 478 6442DH (7/14)
LEONIDAS KAVAKOS IN CONCERT January 9, 10 & 11 Philharmonie Gasteig, Munich Bartók Violin Concerto No 2 Munich PO / Stéphane Denève
January 18 Sala dei Notari, Perugia January 19 Teatro Auditorium Manzoni, Bologna January 21 Conservatorio G Verdi, Milan Recital (Poulenc, Fauré, Stravinsky, Schubert) Enrico Pace
January 28, 29. February 6 Philharmonie, Berlin Sibelius Violin Concerto BPO / Sir Simon Rattle
February 11 Barbican Centre, London Sibelius Violin Concerto BPO / Sir Simon Rattle
February 17 Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Moscow State Academic Symphony Orchetsra of Russia / Leondias Kavakos
February 25 & 26 Philharmonie de Paris Prokofiev Violin Concerto No 2 Orchestre de Paris / Yuri Temirkanov
March 14 Amici della Musica Firenze, Florence March 16 Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa Recital (Poulenc, Fauré, Stravinsky, Schubert) Enrico Pace
March 16, 19 & 20 Gewandhaus, Leipzig Sibelius Violin Concerto Gewandhausorchester / Riccardo Chailly
April 2 Concertgebouw, Amsterdam April 4 De Doelen, Rotterdam Shostakovich Violin Concerto No 1 Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam / Valery Gergiev
April 3 Concertgebouw, Amsterdam Members of Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam
April 8 Barbican Centre Shostakovich Violin Concerto No 1 LSO / Gianandrea Noseda
April 10 Musikverein, Vienna April 14 Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris Brahms Violin Concerto VPO / Christoph Eschenbach
April 16 Mozarteum, Salzburg April 18 Musikverein, Vienna Brahms Violin Sonatas Yuja Wang
April 29. May 1 Victoria Hall, Geneva April 30 Théâtre de Beaulieu, Lausanne Sibelius Violin Concerto Suisse Romande Orchestra / Markus Stenz
May 7, 8 & 9 Kennedy Center, Washington DC Sibelius Violin Concerto National SO / Christoph Eschenbach
34 GRAMOPHONE RECORDINGS OF THE YEAR 2014
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