Kavakos and Eschenbach combine to put on an inspired recital

05.12.15
Christoph Eschenbach, Leonidas Kavakos
The Washington Post

"...Kavakos’s recital with Christoph Eschenbach on Monday at the Terrace Theater was one of the finest I’ve heard from anyone this season. This was not a tossed-off affair, as so often happens when a visiting National Symphony soloist adds an extra event; rather, it was that rare instance of inspired music-making achieved through careful and thorough preparation."

"Eschenbach has always had a special affinity for Schumann, and he and Kavakos infused the rarely heard D Minor Sonata with Mahlerian intensity. The opening seemed to grope blindly toward something imagined and then exploded with controlled fury. The third movement (marked “Quiet, simply”) starts out with gentle raindrops, followed by a series of dreamlike episodes that turn nightmarish. In these and other moments, the musical imagination (and execution) was of the highest level."

"The Schumann was the high point of the evening. Kavakos was the “head,” Eschenbach the “heart,” and here the two elements aligned perfectly. Even the overly repetitive last movement (Schumann often struggled for inspiration in his finales) was full of quirky ideas and subtle alterations. I’ve never heard this work played more persuasively, live or on recording.

"Since it was a short program, the artists added two more finales as encores, Brahms’s Op. 100 and Mozart’s K. 454. Both were played cleanly, with drive and affection." 
 
Read the rest of the review here