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July 12, 2010

A James Ehnes Alert

If you haven't yet heard this astonishing Canadian violinist, and if you are going to be in the New York area at the end of July, this is your chance, so grab it.  On July 30 and 31, James Ehnes will play the Barber Violin Concerto with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra at Lincoln Center in Manhattan.  I know you've never heard of him -- I had never heard of him either, before attending a San Francisco Symphony concert in June at which he played the most ravishing version of Beethoven's Violin Concerto I've ever heard.  It was ravishing precisely because he did not try to ravish:  instead, Ehnes just slipped inside Beethoven's music and, ever so quietly and subtly, made us all lean forward in our seats.  When he wasn't playing, he stood at attention like a stern Scots-Canadian soldier, violin tucked under his arm as if it were his loaded weapon.  And then, when he did play, all you noticed were the fast-moving fingers of his left hand; the rest of him disappeared into the instrument.  It was like hearing this wondrous Beethoven piece played for the very first time.  At the end, the entire audience leapt to its feet -- including me, and I never give standing ovations.
I'll still be in California in late July, so I won't get to hear him play the Barber, alas.  But you go hear it for me, if you can.
July 12, 2010 9:15 AM | | Comments (0)

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