The Musician was Playing the Violin...
On the 17th of March the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory served a stage to the concert of Victor Tretyakov (violin) within the festival, dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the famous Soviet music professor Yuri Yankelevitch.. In the concert there participated Great Academic Symphony Orchestra named after Tchaikovsky under the baton of Ivan Spiller. Tretyakov performed Tchaikovsky’s concerto for violin and orchestra, Ravel’s rhapsody “Gypsy”, E. Schosson’s poem for violin and orchestra and K. Saint-Saens’ introduction and rondo-capriccioso for violin and orchestra.
This is Victor Tretyakov’s third performance on the Moscow stage this month. During two previous ones the violinist seemed not to fully express himself: either keeping the potential back or just “not in the mood”, so to say. But in the latest concert maestro has fully made up for everything “underpaid” before, having played with dazzling shine and having exposed all his best qualities.
Tretyakov has a rare gift to unravel completely new facets in the most “hackneyed” pieces. Performing this or that kind of music the violinist has enough talent to look upon it with a fresh, new approach, free from adhering to “traditions” (very characteristic of modern performing many violin pieces) or own cliches.
Surprisingly enough, Tretyakov almost never repeats his musical findings. From the instrumental standpoint, he really plays in his own style and never misses the chance to emphasize it (by the way, Tretyakov’s instrumental style has soaked in all the best features of what is often referred to as “Yankelevitch school”). However, in purely musical sense his style is an interminable quest, constant and invariably successful attempts to hear everything afresh, which, it’s worth mentioning, are always a success with the audience.
It is no surprising, since during his concerts Tretyakov almost hypnotizes the audience. His playing, often breaking all ideas about the pieces being performed, immediately offers a new and persuasive variant of interpretation, which wouldn’t fail to appeal to you due to its freshness, sincerity and charm.
Tretyakov’s latest performance brought about the incarnation of everything the best the musician can carry to the listener. As it has been already mentioned, he seldom repeats himself. So was this time with Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto which was performed absolutely afresh. This time Tretyakov decided to make it more reserved emotionally, more compact and more boisterous.
For the justice sake, it should be pointed out that from time to time Tretyakov goes too far in his findings and sometimes his taste does betray him. It seldom spoils the impression of the whole concert, but is often quite an unexpected and unpleasant surprise. At the latest concert, however, the maestro was immaculate. Unfortunately, the subtlety of his phrasing remained slightly unintelligible for the orchestra, therefore, many findings in the violin part, well heard and clearly distinctive to the attentive listener, on the whole sounded blurred on the account of the less responsive accompaniment.
The second movement of the concerto was absolutely free from exuberant “emotions”, many performers tend to overload the piece with. Tretyakov played it intentionally plain, without a single excessive accent or tempo increase (what is characteristic of many performers meaning to emphasize their “musicality”). Besides, Tretyakov managed to establish the form of the second movement exclusively nicely, due to what the coming of the finale was being prepared quietly, unattended and became almost a surprise even for those who are well familiar with the piece.
In the finale Tretyakov eagerly demonstrated his technical skills, which were clearly foregrounded by the orchestra trudging somewhere after the soloist. Only the Maestro’s ensemble knack didn’t let the orchestra move away from him more than a quarter, since both the orchestrants and the conductor showed no worry even in the most “dangerous” places. Tretyakov had to change spiccato to detache only because the orchestra did his best to decrease the tempo. Such flexibility of the soloist is beyond all praises, however, it remains unclear, why such a notorious and regarded as the best in Moscow orchestra can be so careless to the accompaniment, the more so, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto is one of the most frequently played pieces from the violin repertoire.
It is worth mentioning that many problems could have been avoided with the conductor’s initiative. Ivan Spiller’s gestures were smooth and calm even in the most tense moments of the piece. As if he were not at all interested in what was happening on the stage. At any rate, neither the soloist nor the orchestra found any support with Spiller. Victor Tretyakov can really lead the orchestra when the conductor can’t. Unfortunately, besides other advantages, the orchestra have but obedient character, so in order to make them play in this way, and not that one, Tretyakov had to seriously strain himself up and it wasn’t always positive. And the conductor remained almost helpless, what was quite irritating.
The second part of the concert began with the performance of the rhapsody for violin and orchestra “Gypsy”. Ravel’s wonderful instrumentation in this piece usually speaks for itself, it is so well-done that almost doesn’t require any special effort from the part of the orchestra. At the same time Tretyakov’s violin was sparking with such bright colors, timber variety was so impressive that in this background the orchestra sounded surprisingly poor.
Tretyakov has performed Schosson's poem at one of his recent concerts in Moscow, but this time the performance has left incomparably brighter impression.The composer's opus is quite difficult as to form and besides, in order to be performed really well, the performer must combine a number of different qualities.Technically hard moments require full sounding of all the notes, it is impossible here to «disguise» this or that failure with quick tempo and a number of passages. With Tretyakov, however, all this can be called only potential «difficulties». He doesn't seem to face any technical problems, so the audience could enjoy Schosson's wonderful music at the most.
To crown it all, Tretyakov ended the concert with another “hit” of violin repertoire – Saint-Saens’s Introduction and Rondo-Capriccioso. Brilliant vivid music found a wonderful interpreter in this violinist. Tretyakov made the audience revel in music, listen through every note, seize every sound. The themes of this music can’t be called too varied (what certainly makes it no worse), so the interpreter like Tretyakov is really a happy find for such a piece! What exactly appeals is the scrupulous attention Tretyakov attaches to every phrase. His fantasy, due to which no two phrases sound alike, on the one hand, and a good taste, which never allows the violinist to take to the banal playing with the public, on the other, made this performance one of the best ever heard in the Great Hall.
On the whole, I’d like to mention again that this concert has rated among Tretyakov’s most impressive performances recently given in Moscow. The violinist has once again proved to be one of the most conspicuous masters of today and it’s exceptionally pleasant to point out that he played to the sold out audience. In such cases one usually wants as many people as possible to hear what is happening on the stage. Musicians of such a rank don’t pamper the audience with their appearance on the stage too often, but Tretyakov is a pleasant exception. It remains only to hope that such concerts will take place in Moscow further on and will be as successful as this one.
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