Review: A laureate recital

Violinist Simone Lamsma

When a chamber concert dwindles down to a recital, the

soloist's exposure goes dramatically up, even if he/she is accompanied.  We heard a lot of

the featured IVCI laureate, Simone Lamsma, in Tuesday evening's concert, all

the more so for her being accompanied by Rohan De Silva, one of the official

competition pianists.  

Their program of Dvořák, Mendelssohn, Arvo Pärt and Schumann

explored the backwaters of the 19th-century representatives while giving us Pärt's

most beautiful creation, Fratres.

And it was Fratres

which stole the show from the other offerings.   It has been scored for many chamber

combinations; I first heard it in string quartet form as played by the now

legendary Kronos Quartet. 

This was my first exposure to its duo format.  With its ever-shifting chords heard

constantly by De Silva, it was Lamsma who decorated them with heavy see-saw

arpeggios, harmony on double stops and rolled chords lightly plucked.  The effect was

magical, mystical, searing and confirming that more can be done with

ever-shifting harmony by itself than one would have previously thought.

Throughout its ten minutes it was beautifully wrought by both players.

Prior to Fratres

we heard Dvořák's Four Romantic Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 75,

followed by Mendelssohns's Sonata in F for Violin and Piano.  Schumann's Sonata No. 2 in D Minor for Violin and Piano ended

the program.  None

of these pieces represented their composers at their best.  Indeed the Schumann D Minor Sonata

sounded like a forerunner to Brahms' much superior violin sonata in that key, a

repertoire standard.

Though Lamsma possesses all the technique one would expect

from a fiddle player of her stature, her tone suffered often from excessive

wobbling, most blatantly on her sustained notes wherein she was at least a

half-step wide.  This

is a trait that is evidently not noticed nor thought to be a negative playing

aspect by many musical professionals as well as many concert patrons.  After all, she is a

silver medalist.  But

those who have optimum vibrato control, such as Augustin Hadelich, the gold

medalist from that competition year, deserve higher praise for simply playing

more beautifully.

Thus for the next in the IVCI Laureate Series we look

forward to the first Indy appearance on March 10 of S. Korea's Soyoung Yoon

since she won the silver medal in the

2010 IVCI.  Her tone was nicely controlled. Feb. 10; Indiana History Center

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