Tuesday, 1 April 2003

Recent recordings by Hana Kotkova (Ysaye) and Susanne Stanzeleit (Enescu) have set me thinking about what makes a good, worthwhile violin performance. With both Kotkova and Stanzeleit, you find yourself concentrating on the music, rather than admiring how beautiful their violins sound. Kotkova's Ysaye pleases me more than did her Enescu / Janacek disc, which I found a bit too soft-centred and laid back. Stanzeleit I have always admired, though I've mainly had to listen to her in Bartok, which is not really my cup of tea (after nearly 50 years of listening to him!)
Well, the PR people can push Josefowicz, and Bell, and Hahn, and Shaham, and Znyder ... But I think current generation violinists such as Repin, Suwanai, Batiashvili, Kotkova and Stanzeleit are just fine for me.