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Sibelius simply perfect

04/25/2005 -  
Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D Minor, op.47
Roman Patocka, violin
Prague Philharmonia
Jiri Belohlavek, conductor

One can expect that Jiri Belohlavek, arguably the most acclaimed Czech conductor a newly designated chief of the BBC Symphony Orchestra is very picky when it comes to soloists. Rightly so. There could not be a better choice than young Roman Patocka, a most talented violin virtuoso. A laureate of a number of violin contests, his name spread abroad for the first time when he performed under Mackerras a couple of years ago. This evening made clear that we shall hear from him again.
The play was full of lyrical beauty and had the required conciseness of expression. That is very important with a modern piece where the mood and colour change so frequently. The phrases were never too stabbing, always with a nimble balance and Patocka's soaring flights of the violin felt just breathtaking. He was never heavy handed and although he plays in a fast accelerating tempo, he still masters all nuances in the entrances of phrases. The virtuosic parts with their glinting intonation left the sold out auditorium breathless. His interpretation was so much Sibelian, just with the right degree of all required ingredients.
Belohlavek and Prague Philharmonia were impressive yet unobtrusive, allowing for the graceful glow of the the soloist. The orchestra played with a great precision and the rich tutti sections with powerful winds were in a beautiful contrast to the tender colour of the violin.
Eight stage calls and an encore speak for itself. Let's hope that we do not have to wait for Patocka's debut recording for too long.

Kvetoslav Krejci



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