Press

22.09.2015

Daily Record Review: UK Tour, Aberdeen Music Hall

Nicola Benedetti, one of the world’s most beloved classical violinists, returned to the Music Hall with a dynamic programme of music inspired by the spirit of Italy.

Nicola Benedetti wowed the Aberdeen audience with her latest offering.

Nicola Benedetti is an artist always giving back to her audiences and gifting them with musical expressions of her life as one of the most sought after classical musicians of her generation, amazingly yet to reach her peak, writes Catriona Mackenzie.

Her latest UK tour of the UK cities and Dublin consists of a programme inspired by her own Italian heritage and the ‘spirit of Italy.’

Describing the evening as spirited would be an understatement. Benedetti herself said when introducing the concert “we have a lot of notes to get through this evening,” and quickly set about gathering musicians for the opening number; Antonio Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto in D, Il Grosso Mogul.

As an opener, the concerto worked to ease the audience into Vivaldi’s style and acquaint them with the storm of music to come in The Four Seasons. It also introduced the other ensemble musicians playing with Benedetti to the stage.

Epic might not be a word often used to describe this piece, but the tenacious complexity within it was evident whilst watching and listening to Benedetti guide her group through each movement.

The performance, although traditional, is youthfully energetic and races ahead of other contemporary interpretations, particularly in the instantly recognisable Summer presto.

Benedetti pushes each phrase to the limit, almost digging into her violin at times to draw out as much sound as possible, despite notes often lasting fractions of a second.

Despite her virtuosic playing and exceptional showmanship, some of her most captivating moments are the stillest, such as the Adagio Molto of Autumn- which was spellbinding and over too soon.

After accomplishing such feats in the first part of the evening, Benedetti returned with arguably her closest collaborator, her partner Leonard Elschenbroich, to perform a specially written duet for violin and cello; Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Duetti d’amore. The work had its premier at the start of this tour only days ago in Perth Concert hall.

The very modern working on two traditional instruments makes for interesting listening, especially when placed between works from baroque and late romantic composers.

Both Benedetti and Elschenbroich play with dramatic flare through a piece which seems to encapsulate every time of lovers’ quarrel and resolution.

Tchaikovsky’s sextet set Souvenir de Florence brought an homage to old Italy back into the programme before the evening’s end.

The work itself of course does not sound particularly Italian, but the inspiration of Florence was key to its making.

The minimal six musicians on stage each brought an emotive style of play that suited the storytelling nature of the piece.

In any other concert, Souvenir de Florence may have been enough to be a headline performance piece, but on this occasion it served as an enriching closing number, but one behind a marathon first part of the evening.

Benedetti said at the beginning of her performance that she does not take for granted occasions where so many people turn out for classical music concerts.

If her latest offering is anything to go by, it is clear she will have plenty of classical programmes to plan for years to come.

Read more at http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/review-nicola-benedetti-aberdeen-music-6491922#PWLGurRY6qrpJsl8.99