Reviews: Leonidas Kavakos with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Critical acclaim for Leonidas Kavakos’ performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
“…time and time again, he juiced out rivulets of sound from just a couple inches of bow. Like any Brahms interpretation worth its salt, his performance leaned into the work’s inherent narrativity. In the first movement, he wound out of the finger-tying cadenza with genial windedness, as though acknowledging the hugeness of the disclosure just before. Then, in the third movement, he shrewdly opted to sail through the final D major chords in tempo, not stretched out in the eyebrow-waggling practice so typical in performances of the concerto.”
“Though this work certainly has it technical flourishes, it’s more about expression than technique, and Kavakos handled it all with a comfortable, straightforward interpretation that took full advantage of his pleasing, silken tone. He used an involved, sometimes inward-looking cadenza by the soloist for which the concerto was originally composed, Joseph Joachim, and made the most of it.
Kavakos earned an extended standing ovation, which probably came as much from his fine playing as it did from the audience’s sheer joy in hearing a soloist perform with the orchestra at Orchestra Hall for the first time in some 19 months.”