Last Tuesday we had the first U.S. concert appearance by International Competition of Indianapolis’ 2006 silver medalist Simone Lamsma of Holland since the event itself. Accompanied by Ms. Chih-Yi Chen on piano, Lamsma offered five pieces, four of which were late-Romantic fare. She opened with Mozart’s early Adagio in E, K. 261 — sometimes subbed for the slow movement of his Fifth Violin Concerto. Though tuneful and pleasant, Lamsma’s playing seemed a little tight and forceful. Then came Ravel’s late Violin Sonata in G (1927), with its notable “blues” second movement. This was better played, the final movement taken as “fast as hell.” The Grieg Violin Sonata No. 3 in C Minor followed, with Lamsma displaying some nervous bowing in the Scherzo movement and some wobble in the final movement; otherwise it was enjoyable. Lamsma reserved her best playing for the Eugène Ysaÿe Solo Violin Sonata in E Minor; she gave it lots of “hair” plus her best tonal characteristics and an excellent command of its passage-work difficulties. Her concluding piece was the Violin Sonata No. 1 in A by Gabriel Fauré — played with less tonal perfection but with lots of “flair.” Chen provided masterful accompaniment throughout. —TA
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