Arts: Hail the new Heifetz
CLASSICAL; PROMS 37 & 38 ROYAL ALBERT HALL/ RADIO 3 LONDON
Tuesday 17 August 1999
Vengerov opened his recital with Brahms, the dashing C minor Scherzo first, then the lyrical Third Sonata. Both benefited from Vag Papian's lavishly expressive piano playing, whereas Vengerov drew a lean, fragile thread of tone. The sonata performance was rather like witnessing intimate exchanges in public, but the three Hungarian Dances that followed melded fun with fire. This was Vengerov the joker, and the clowning took over the second half. Beyond Schubert's amiable A major Rondo, Sarasate cantered in with his Caprice basque, Rachmaninov unfolded a heartfelt Vocalise, and sparks rained fast and furious with Ravel's Tzigane. Franz Waxman's Carmen Fantasy was played as an encore, followed by the "Meditation" from Thais, a pizzicato tour de force called Balalaika and the Bazzini, leaving us in a state of heady elation. As fiddle recitals go, this was one of the best I've ever witnessed.
Of course, Vengerov is still young and he has to live up to his soaring reputation. The same might be said of the composer, pianist and conductor Thomas Ades, except that in Ades's case the sheer responsibility of being acclaimed Britten's successor must weigh even more heavily. On Sunday night, Ades conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra in his evocative and often powerful Asyla, patiently, painstakingly and with wide, clear gestures. It's an extraordinarily delicate piece and yet the accelerating string lines that gain heat in the second movement have the emotive impact of Sibelius. My guess is that Asyla will be counted as one of the half-century's orchestral masterpieces.
After Ades, Jiri Belohlavek took over and Yefim Bronfman gave a big-toned, though fairly stylish, account of Bartk's Second Piano Concerto. True, ensemble was not perfect, but the second movement's rapt outer sections were well sustained and the finale held its momentum virtually without let-up. The concert ended with a heartfelt account of Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony, and I was glad that, for once, the rabble-rousing finale wasn't hurried into senseless confusion.
The Venegerov recital will be broadcast on BBC1 on 31 August. Sunday evening's Prom will be rebroadcast on Radio 3 on Friday at 2pm
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Oscar voter speaks outfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 MH370: 'Putin ordered plane to be flown to Kazakhstan space port,' conspiracy theory claims
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Catwoman comes out as bisexual
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Justin Kelly interview: On James Franco playing a gay man who renounces his homosexuality
Grace Dent on TV: Mary Portas: Secret Shopper delves into a grim cornucopia of retail wrongness
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East