October 27, 2021
Yevgeny Kutik premiers Joseph Schwantner’s Violin Concerto

Colin Anderson, Colinscolumn.com, October 17, 2021


[...] Schwantner’s thirty-five-minute Violin Concerto, written for Yevgeny Kutik, is a compelling piece. No less colourful in terms of scoring, if reducing heavy brass (two trumpets, one trombone) while including a piano and a harp and using percussion subtly and variedly. During the fascinating first movement, which opens darkly, it would be pointless to second-guess what happens next, but the transformations are made inevitable. The second and final movement, beginning dramatically, is animated and beguilingly detailed, fading to dusky reminiscences, then rising to affirmation. Kutik (a violinist new to me and quite a find) gave a performance, Slatkin in total control of the mosaic-like orchestration. As for the piece itself, it needs to be listened to again to fully appreciate the many facets; however, even if it’s perhaps too easy a reference, if you love Barber’s Violin Concerto, you’ll love the Schwantner, and he too was present. [...]

You can watch the recording of the concerto here (start at 38:00).

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