Monday, 20 August 2012

Leonidas Kavakos

For a couple of decades now I've been a great admirer of the Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos. An incredible virtuoso (hear his Paganini) but also a supreme musician. He has never had much of an official recording career – probably fortunately, since this has enabled him to steer clear of monthly doses of Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Bruch, etc. A fair percentage of my Kavakos recordings come from off-air performances, the latest being last week's recital with Nikolai Lugansky at the Edinburgh Festival at which they played the Janacek and Respighi sonatas, plus Brahms' first and Stravinsky's Duo Concertante – a typical interesting Kavakos programme. Be it Paganini's 24 capricci, Ysa├┐e's six solo sonatas, Brahms' violin concerto or a recital of Kreisler salon pieces: Kavakos is up there with the best. His current recital with Lugansky is mellow and highly musical, as one would expect from such a combination. Anything with Kavakos almost always comes with three stars.

No comments: