Precision from the Fiddler's Bow

Gil Shaham

By Marcus Karl Maroney

"...this was followed by a thrilling, definitive performance of Korngold’s opulent Violin Concerto by Gil Shaham. Playing the dizzyingly virtuosic score without effort, the tip of Shaham’s bow was a more important baton than the one in Adams’ hand. The violinist exuded sheer pleasure in the wonderful music he was making, shuffling, smiling and endlessly communicating with the musicians of the orchestra, who responded with the richest foundation for Shaham to fiddle above. Both soloist and orchestra dug into the finale’s challenging, twisting gigue figures, while the tender, central Romanze brought delicately limned melodic phrasing and wonderfully blended, transparent harmonies. The concerto’s patina of nostalgia for fin de siècle Vienna is apparent from the very opening gesture, and Shaham’s engaging, charismatic rendition received an appropriately rapturous response."

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